The best way to protect yourself is to get a flu vaccine every year.
Who needs one?
Doctors recommend everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year. It’s especially important for people at high risk for developing flu complications. This includes people 65 years and older, those of any age with certain chronic conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and children younger than five years of age.
Learn more about flu, vaccines and keeping healthy this season from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). See Additional Resources below.
Where to get your flu vaccine
Flu shots are covered for Harvard Pilgrim members at a number of convenient locations. Not all facilities provide flu shots to children so be sure to check ahead to confirm.
- Your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or family pediatrician
- Participating MinuteClinics (MA, NH, ME, RI and CT locations only)
- Participating retail pharmacies
- Public and community-based clinics ― contact your town or state’s health department (see Additional Resources)
- Your employer may host flu clinics for their staff; check with your HR department.
And before you go, be sure to:
- Bring your Harvard Pilgrim ID card with you to ensure you get the coverage provided by your plan
- Call the provider/facility in advance to confirm the flu vaccine is available
Good habits to help prevent the spread of the flu
- Cough, or sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow, not your hands
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
- Alcohol-based hand cleansers are also effective and easy to take with you
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home until your fever is gone for at least 24 hours
What about pneumonia?
The danger of getting pneumonia is also higher this time of year. The CDC recommends the pneumonia vaccine for children under two years of age 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. Check with your doctor to see what makes sense for you.
What should I do if I get sick?
Most people with the flu have mild illness. If you have symptoms of the flu and are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your primary care provider. If your primary care provider is not available, learn more about your Urgent Care Options .
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
State Departments of Health