Prepare for an unpredictable—and potentially severe—flu season by getting your shot

September 28, 2021
Girl vaccine mask

Flu was nearly nonexistent last year, but don’t assume the same for 2021

By Regence

Every year health officials strongly encourage people to get their flu shot to protect themselves and others. In 2020 we saw historically low flu rates due to a variety of factors—including remote learning for students of all ages and other safety precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As communities continue to safely reopen thanks to people getting their COVID-19 vaccines, and students return to in-person learning, this year’s flu season could look very different.

Lower influenza immunity in 2021 combined with a strained health care system

Fewer people were exposed to the flu in 2020, which means our collective immunity is lower for fighting the virus this year. Many hospitals are also already strained from caring for sick patients who largely did not get vaccinated for COVID-19.

The concern is that more people may get sick this flu season while there are fewer hospital beds in many areas to provide emergency care for influenza. Fortunately, getting your flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and help avoid a severe flu season. You can also get your flu shot at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccination.

Regence covers flu shots at 100% for most members

Getting a flu shot is both easy and also fully covered by most health plans. Although flu season normally runs from October through April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you get your flu shot by the end of October since it takes two weeks for the vaccine to become effective.

Flu shots are available now in most in-network doctors’ offices, pharmacies and supermarkets. Regence members can also search online with the Find a Doctor tool on regence.com or call customer service to find in-network options. Learn more at Regence’s flu-shot page.

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