Don’t miss out on fall activities: Get your flu shot today

Heavier jackets are out. Leaves are changing. Noses are running.

Each of these signals the arrival of another season – some call it autumn, others call it flu season.

During this time of year, it’s important to arm yourself with information on how you can help reduce your risk of getting sick.

Getting a seasonal flu shot may be the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones — and can help keep you from missing important events, such as fall activities and holidays.

If you’re unsure if a flu shot is right for you, you’re not alone. There can be a lot of confusion out there surrounding vaccines. To help, here are five common flu shot myths — and the facts behind them.

Myth 1: You can get the flu from the flu shot.

Every year, some people choose not to get a seasonal flu shot because they have heard you can get the flu from the vaccine. However, that’s not true. In fact, doctors strongly recommend getting the flu shot because it is the best way to help protect yourself from the flu. The flu vaccine has a good safety record, it doesn’t cause serious side effects and may even help reduce the seriousness of your symptoms if you do get the flu.

Myth 2: The flu shot isn’t safe for older adults.

The flu shot is safe, simple and a smart choice – no matter your age. In fact, the flu shot is especially important if you’re 65 or older because older adults are at higher risk for serious flu complications, such as pneumonia, which could result in a hospital stay. 

Myth 3: The flu vaccine causes strong side effects.

Side effects from the flu shot are typically mild, if any happen at all. The most common side effects are soreness, redness or tenderness where the shot was given. A low-grade fever, headache or muscle aches may occur but usually only last a day or two. The flu shot also doesn’t interact with other medications, so you don’t have to worry about changing your medication routine.

Myth 4: I got a flu vaccine last year, so I’m fine for this year.

Even if you received a flu shot last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a seasonal flu shot for optimal protection, due to the fact that a person’s immunity from vaccination declines with time. Also, the flu viruses are constantly changing so the vaccine is updated each year, as needed.

Whether you are enrolled in Original Medicare or have a Medicare Advantage plan, your flu shot is covered at no additional cost. So don’t wait – visit your doctor’s office or a participating pharmacy and get your flu shot today. Don’t miss out on fall activities, being with your trick-or-treaters or sharing Thanksgiving with the important people in your life!

UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Advantage members can find a flu shot location by visiting

Who should get the flu shot?

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