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Prevent the Spread with Flu Shots—and Flu Facts

Healthy Life

You heard what? No matter what people say, flu shots are all about flu-fighting defenses that protect you from the flu all season long. Not only is the flu shot proven to help your body develop special antibodies that fight influenza strains, it’s the single most effective way to prevent the flu. And there’s more to the flu-shot story of course, which is why we’re setting the record straight. Following are some of the most common flu-shot refrains begging for logic (and facts):

“I don’t need a flu shot, because I never get sick.”
Great, but it’s not quite all about you. Roughly three-quarters of people with seasonal or pandemic flu don’t show symptoms, or have symptoms so mild they don’t associate them with the flu. That means you could be contagious and not even know it! If getting a flu shot for yourself isn’t enough motivation, how’s this: get one to protect a loved one who may be more susceptible to the flu and its complications.

“I don’t get a flu shot because my friend got one, and it actually gave her the flu.”
The flu vaccine is not a live virus (nor is it made with one), so it can’t cause the flu. Some people may experience minor side effects, such as soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, or a slight low grade-fever, but these symptoms go away within a few days, if not hours.

“I don’t get a flu shot, because the flu shot doesn’t work.”
New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses. The fact is a flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your chances of getting the flu and spreading it to others; it’s proven to increase your resistance to the flu by up to 60%.

“I can’t get a flu shot, because I’m scared of needles!”
It’s understandable, but at least try thinking about the misery of getting the flu (or the cost of being away from work). Although a small pinch takes a few seconds, the fear can be real. Try to distract yourself with breathing exercises or music. Talk to your doctor about your fear and ask if an alternative form of the vaccine is available.

“I don’t get a flu shot, because I don’t have time to get one. Besides, I don’t even know where to get one.”
There are convenient ways to get your flu shot that are likely already part of your routine. Most local pharmacies offer flu shots, so you can get your shot while you shop. Or you can make an appointment with your doctor’s office at a time that’s convenient for you. Your workplace may even offer an on-site flu shot clinic.

“I don’t get a flu shot, because I can’t afford to get a flu shot.”
Since the flu shot is considered preventive care, most health plans include them at no cost to their members. With PacificSource, for example, members can get a flu shot at little or no cost at a doctor’s office or pharmacy that’s part of the plan’s network.

The evolving virus from one year to the next is why the flu shot recommended for anyone age six months or older. For PacificSource members, the flu shot is available at no cost—simply check for availability at your in-network doctor’s office, most leading pharmacies, and local public health agency.

For more flu-fighting insights—and find out where to go to get your flu shot—visit or