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Getting the seasonal flu vaccine every year is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. This year it will be more important than ever before to get your flu shot to help avoid an overlap of both
flu and coronavirus this fall. Getting a flu shot will help keep you safe, and also reserve the health care resources we need to continue fighting COVID-19.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect your nose, throat and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and in extreme cases lead to death. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early
as October and last as late as May. During flu season, flu viruses circulate at higher levels in the U.S. population.
The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms, but they’re caused by different viruses and have key differences. Seasonal flu vaccines are offered every year and are your best protection against the flu. Currently
there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, contact your primary care physician to be evaluated. You can also take Sharp HealthCare’s free self-assessment tool at sharp.com/coronavirus to help you determine
the right next steps for you.
The flu and COVID-19 share similar symptoms, so there is a risk of inaccurate diagnosis. If a flu infection is mistaken for COVID-19, people may find themselves facing unnecessary, lengthy quarantine or not receiving appropriate flu treatment, such as
antiviral medication. The flu and COVID-19 are also both highly contagious illnesses that affect the respiratory system. Being infected by both viruses is possible. This means that the risk of having more severe symptoms of both flu and COVID-19 and
serious complications — such as acute respiratory distress syndrome — caused by co-infection could be higher. Also, the combination of both illnesses could potentially overwhelm the health care system and lead to further shutdowns.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season,
even into January or later. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so it’s best to make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins.
Sharp Health Plan covers the flu shot under your preventive care benefits at no additional charge. Here's what you can do to get vaccinated today.
If you have a regularly scheduled appointment, it’s a good idea to ask if you can receive your flu shot during your appointment. Otherwise, you can contact your primary care physician (PCP) to schedule a vaccination appointment. You can find your
doctor’s contact information on your member ID card.
MinuteClinics are medical clinics located inside select CVS Pharmacy® stores nationwide. Before you head out, check to make sure you’re going to a CVS
pharmacy store that offers a MinuteClinic. Flu shots at MinuteClinic have a $0 copay.
Find a MinuteClinic
We’re offering our members $0 COVID-19 screening and testing as well as $0 treatment received April 1 through Dec. 31, 2020. Telehealth visits for COVID-19 are covered too.
Flu season will begin while we’re still managing the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 will still be around when the flu season begins. What are the risks of having both?
Sharp Direct Advantage is offered by Sharp Health Plan. Sharp Health Plan is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment with Sharp Health Plan depends on contract renewal. Read the full disclaimer.