Protect yourself from illness this fall

October 06, 2021

Flu season is here, and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to get the latest flu vaccine. Vaccines can also help reduce the spread of the viruses that may cause severe illness and hospitalizations in some cases.  

Remember: it takes about two weeks after getting a vaccine for your body to develop protective antibodies, which is why you shouldn’t wait to get your flu shot. 

Getting a flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, but it will decrease your chances of getting the flu and its related health risks. You’ll need a separate vaccine to protect yourself from COVID-19. 

Can I get multiple vaccines at once?

If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccination yet, you can get it at the same time as the flu vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Experience with other vaccines has shown that the immune response and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines. This means fewer trips to a provider’s office and a shorter time frame before you are protected.

Protect yourself and others

Some people get “breakthrough” COVID-19 infections — they get the virus after being vaccinated. Fortunately, those who get the vaccine are less likely to develop serious illness or require hospitalization if they get a breakthrough infection. However, new variants of the COVID-19 virus can be spread and are especially dangerous to those who aren’t vaccinated or have existing health problems.

heart-shaped flu shot bandageAs a HealthSelectSM participant, you can get a flu shot and COVID-19 vaccination at no cost at an in-network provider. If your agency, college or university does not schedule an on-site vaccination clinic for employees, your primary care provider can probably give you your flu shot. Many retail health clinics, like those in grocery stores and pharmacies, offer flu shots and COVID-19 vaccines too. Just make sure they’re in-network. 

For help finding an in-network provider to get a flu shot, call a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039 (TTY: 711), Monday—Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. CT. For questions about COVID-19 and your HealthSelect benefits, visit the COVID-19 webpage on the HealthSelect website.

You may also be able to get the flu vaccine at no cost through your HealthSelect prescription drug plan (PDP). For more information about PDP benefits, call toll-free, (855) 828-9834.

Remember to bring both your medical and PDP ID cards to your vaccine appointment. 

Don’t put your health and the health of others at risk. Getting safe, effective vaccines just makes good sense.