The flu is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that are easily spread from person to person. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get a flu vaccine every year.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
- Doctors recommend everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every
- Vaccination to prevent the flu is especially important for people who have
a medical condition, like asthma, diabetes or heart disease, which may put
them at a higher risk for developing complications from the flu.
- People who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing
complications from the flu (such as a child younger than 6 months old or someone
with with a medical condition like asthma) should get the flu vaccine.
Where can I get the flu vaccine that is covered by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care?
- Harvard Pilgrim contracted physicians (PCP/Specialist); call your doctor’s
office to make sure that they have the vaccine available.
- MinuteClinic (MA, NH and CT locations only)
- Harvard Pilgrim's retail pharmacy network contracted through MedImpact for
members 19 years and older. Bring your Harvard Pilgrim card and there will
be no cost to you.
- MA city/town public clinic (clinics coordinated through MA Department of
Public Health and billed to HPHC by Commonwealth Medicine)
- Public clinics run and billed by New England Nurses (MA, Southern NH, and
parts of RI)
- Public clinics run and billed by Harvard Pilgrim contracted Home Health
- Your employer. Check with your Human Resources department to see if your
company will be hosting a flu clinic this season.
Call ahead to confirm a flu clinic’s schedule and to make sure that they accept
Harvard Pilgrim insurance. Always bring your ID card with you.
- Your child’s pediatrician. Call the office to see if there are scheduled times for flu vaccines.
- Many cities and towns run flu clinics in the schools or public clinics for children and adults. Call your city or town for details.
Should I get the pneumonia vaccine?
The pneumonia vaccine is recommended for young children and all adults age 65 and older. Older children and adults younger than 65 who have certain medical conditions should also get the pneumonia vaccine. For information about the pneumonia vaccine, visit the CDC's Web site. Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether the pneumonia vaccine is right for you or your child.
Call Member Services toll-free at 1-888-333-4742. Medicare members call toll-free 1-877-907-4742.
Web resources for seasonal flu information: