Winter is coming. And so is the flu.

According to FLU.gov, 111 million work days are lost every year because of the flu. Aches, fever, headache, fatigue, cough, and a runny nose also come with the flu. The worst part? There is little you can do to feel better except to wait it out.  The good news? In most cases, most cases of the flu could be prevented by the flu shot. Prevention is the best treatment in this situation.

Our team at Take Command Health wants you to be prepared this flu season. Read on for common flu shot myths, where to go to get your shot and how much to expect to pay. This is a convenient and affordable way to keep you and your family healthy. Our best advice? Don't skip the flu shot this year.

The Flu Shot: Myth vs. Fact

At Take Command Health, we are on a mission to arm you with the information you need to make smart decisions and stay well. Don't fall for these ongoing myths about the flu shot.

Myth #1: The flu shot gives you the flu. People hesitate to get the flu shot because they believe that it gives you the flu. You might run a low grade fever, have headaches and muscle aches that are reminiscent of the flu, but these are just normal side effects of any vaccination. Mild symptoms of the flu shot may last 1-2 days, while the virus can last 5 to 7 days, with the worst symptoms lasting 3 to 4.

Myth #2: The flu makes you stronger. Old-wives’ tales say that it might be better for to contract the flu and strengthen our immune systems' protection against the virus, but influenza can be serious, so it’s best not to take that risk.

Myth #3: There is no point in getting the same vaccine every year. Even if you got the flu shot last year you will need a new vaccine every year, even if the strain of the virus remains the same. Over time, our immunity weakens and the protection of vaccines decline.

Flu shots are convenient

Flu shots are offered everywhere these days - from your doctor’s office to a local pharmacy, clinics or health centers. Your employer might even offer shots at your place of work so there’s really no excuse not to get a flu shot, even if you don’t have a regular healthcare provider.

The CDC offers the Vaccine Locator as a handy tool to find the location nearest you.

Flu shots are (almost always) free

Preventative care, such as vaccines, should be covered under insurance. While major medical health insurance plans sold on and away from the Health Insurance Marketplace are required to include certain free preventive services, such as flu shots, other health plans may not. To find out for sure, call your insurance or healthcare provider directly. But, if you have an insurance plan, chances are the flu shot will be covered. Even if your deductible has not been met, you should not even have to pay a co-pay. If you can't get into your healthcare provider for the flu shot, check our your closest pharmacy.

Without using insurance, major pharmacies offer the flu shot at a low cost ($10-$60), on both a walk-in and appointment basis. That is substantially less than nursing the flu virus and missing work. Call first to make sure your vaccine is in stock! This is a fast and easy way to protect yourself. Some retailers also offer incentives such as store discount coupons for getting your flu shot!

Why use Take Command Health?

Take Command Health believes in transparency and empowerment in this confusing realm of health insurance. We use data to provide unbiased information for on- and off-market plans as well as faith-based plans. We want to empower you to make smart decisions and avoid wasting money on the wrong plan.

We stand behind our product too. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at support@takecommandhealth.com or click the button below to give our online health insurance shopping tool a try.

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