Parents: The Flu Shot Is For You, Too
When it comes to protecting your children, you do whatever you can to keep them safe. And now that flu season is here, you’re likely taking steps to keep your children healthy. By now you probably know the drill: Make sure your children get their flu shot, if they’re old enough. Encourage them to always wash their hands, sneeze and cough into a tissue or elbow and keep some distance between friends who are already sick. As for parents, you keep your house as clean as possible, throw away used tissues or other items that may spread germs and disinfect commonly touched surfaces. That pretty much covers it, right?
You’re forgetting a key piece of the flu-prevention puzzle. As a parent, you need a flu shot, too. Not only does it protect you from the flu, but it provides an extra layer of protection for those around you, including your children. The more members of your family who receive the flu shot, the greater the effect the vaccine has on your household. This is because of something called herd immunity, which is when the majority of immunized individuals provide protection to those around them.
All members of your family benefit from you getting a flu shot, including:
- Infants under six months of age who are too young to be immunized and rely on those around them to provide protection
- Children under five and children of all ages with a chronic condition such as asthma or diabetes who are at higher risk of complication from the flu virus
- Unborn children who count on their mothers and other flu-immunized family members for protection
If you’re a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network member, visit a participating pharmacy with your member ID card to get your flu shot today. While most pharmacies will accept your coverage, be sure to ask before you get your vaccine. Then, write down the date and let your doctor know at your next appointment so he or she can keep your immunization chart up to date — and you healthy. You can also schedule an appointment with your primary doctor to get one. Your office visit copayment may apply.
For Blue Cross members without BCBSM pharmacy coverage: Visit bcbsm.com/preventflu to see a list of immunizing pharmacies that provide vaccines under your medical coverage.
Photo credit: KOMU News