Don’t Let the Flu Get You, Get Your Flu Shot Now

1/10/2019

Did you get your flu shot? If not, it isn’t too late. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season peaks between the months of December and February. An estimated 960,000 people were hospitalized and an estimated 79,000 died due to flu complications during the 2017-2018 flu season. Use your TRICARE benefit to get the flu vaccine.

Adopting good health habits to stop the spread of germs can be a big help in avoiding the flu. Take the following actions to help prevent the flu and keep you and your family healthy.

1. Take Time to Get a Flu Vaccine.

The following people should get vaccinated each year:

  • Children six months and older
  • Adults age 65 and older
  • People with certain health conditions
  • Pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum)
  • Health care, child care, and elderly care workers

Some people shouldn’t get the flu shot, like those with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine. Talk with your health care provider if you have concerns about getting the flu vaccine.

Getting the Flu Vaccine

You and your family can get the flu shot at no cost at a military hospital or clinic, a participating network pharmacy, or from a TRICARE-authorized provider. The flu vaccine, when given by a pharmacist at a network pharmacy, is covered by the pharmacy benefit for free. You can still go to your primary care manager or TRICARE-authorized providerClick to closeAn authorized provider is any individual, institution/organization, or supplier that is licensed by a state, accredited by national organization, or meets other standards of the medical community, and is certified to provide benefits under TRICARE. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network. for the flu shot if the pharmacy has restrictions or the shot isn’t available. The flu shot will be free, but you may have to pay copayments or cost-shares for the office visit. When in doubt, be sure to follow your plan’s rules for getting care.

2. Follow Healthy Practices to Stop the Spread of Flu.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. If soap and water isn’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the tissue and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home if you have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches).

3. If You Get the Flu, Take Flu Antiviral Drugs as Prescribed.

If you get the flu, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat your flu symptoms. Check with your doctor if you have flu-like symptoms and are at high risk of serious flu complications.

Protect yourself and your family this flu season. For more information on how you can get the flu vaccine at no cost, visit Flu Vaccine on the TRICARE website.

Last Updated 1/10/2019