With the holiday season approaching and the AAA forecasting more holiday travel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. (Blue Cross) are encouraging everyone to get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster shot. I am urging you.
“The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get the flu shot”, “This is the earliest start to the flu season we’ve seen in years and the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control shows a sharp rise in the flu already. With people traveling for the holidays, the chance of spreading the flu is extremely high.”
Dr. Tom Hawkins, senior medical director, population health & analytics at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
The health plan’s “Stopping the flu starts with you” campaign is underway and reminds members and the public that the flu vaccine is safe, effective, readily available, and free of cost to most people with insurance.
For Blue Cross members, messages on social media and emails provide access to timely and relevant information on the health plan’s Flu Resource page. Members can access tools to help locate a flu shot provider, videos and articles on the flu and flu prevention, as well as other helpful health care resources and links to in-depth reporting on the virus published on Coverage, Blue Cross’ award winning public news site.
Dr. Hawkins joins public health experts across the country in encouraging people to also get vaccinated for COVID-19, if they haven’t yet, or to get the latest booster shot that protects against the newest variants of COVID. The flu and COVID vaccines can be given in the same health care visit safely and are proven to lessen the severity of illness. Both the flu and COVID-19 can lead to serious illness, hospitalization and even death, especially if you are over 65 and have a weakened immune system or certain medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. there is.
Complicating this cold and flu season is the increase in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases. It usually causes mild flu-like symptoms but can be serious, especially in young children and the elderly.
There is no vaccine against RSV. This is another reason why doctors recommend getting her vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19. Vaccination greatly reduces the risk of contracting the flu and her COVID-19 while contracting RSV.