Sutter Health Plus News & Trends

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Flu Season is Here

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Access

NACooler weather and shorter days mean fall is here—and so is the flu. The best protection against flu-related illness is the seasonal flu vaccine.

The CDC recommends everyone six months of age and older get the vaccination. Pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with certain health conditions are at greater risk for severe flu complications. In fact, from 1976 to 2006, estimated annual flu-related deaths in the United States ranged from 3,000 to 49,000 people. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Most of the time, the flu is spread by droplets from infected people when they cough, sneeze or talk,” says Patrick Robinson, a pharmacist at Sutter Health Plus. “The single best way people can protect themselves—and others—is to get vaccinated.”

For Sutter Health Plus members, the flu vaccine is available at no cost. In addition to requesting the vaccine from their primary care providers, members may also visit network pharmacy locations participating in the Vaccine Immunization / Injection Network administered by OptumRx. While flu vaccines are usually available on a walk-in basis at participating pharmacy locations, supplies vary so it’s best to call ahead.

For a complete list of pharmacy locations, members may visit OptumRx website or call the number on the back of their health plan or prescription identification card.