Every fall, King County’s Balanced You team encourages employees to get their flu shot and this fall, flu shots are more important than ever. While the flu shot won’t protect you from COVID-19, it has many other important benefits. Getting vaccinated can reduce your risk of getting the flu, help protect vulnerable populations, and conserve health care resources as we continue to navigate the pandemic. Here’s what telecommuting employees need to know about flu shots this fall, including how to access them near you.
Who should get a flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine every year. They go on to recommend getting a flu vaccine by the end of October – because it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to become fully protective – but encourage people to get vaccinated later rather than not at all. During the ongoing pandemic, it’s particularly important for those at increased risk for illness from COVID-19 and other vulnerable populations to receive their flu shot.
Where can telecommuters get a flu shot?
Flu vaccines for telecommuting employees will look a little differently due to the pandemic. To reduce the number of employees coming onsite to King County worksites, we are limiting onsite flu shots to employees reporting to work during the pandemic. Employees who are telecommuting are asked to visit their primary care provider’s office or local pharmacies to receive their flu shot vaccine. You can also use the online HealthMap Vaccine Finder to easily find pharmacy and clinic locations where vaccines are available based on your zip code. Remember to call ahead to verify that vaccine is available and within network.
While providers and pharmacies are following CDC guidance for delivering vaccines, there are steps you can take to protect your health as well. When getting a flu vaccine, follow CDC’s recommendations for running essential errands and doctor visits, and continue to take everyday preventive actions.
This year, family members are asked to not come onto King County employees’ worksites, and to also visit their healthcare provider or pharmacy for their flu shot.
Will my insurance cover my flu shot?
Yes. All King County employees and their dependents who are covered by Kaiser or Regence are eligible for free flu shots at healthcare clinics or pharmacies. Visit this blog post for information specific to each insurance plan.
If you are a King County employee who is reporting to the worksite during the pandemic, read this blog post for information on onsite flu clinics. As we continue to learn more about and navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s do what we can to keep ourselves and each other safe.