The “flu shot” is a vaccine that protects you from the flu virus. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends everyone ages six months and older get a flu shot every flu season, including healthy people, and people with chronic conditions. In general, it is recommended that anyone who wants to reduce his or her chances of getting the flu should be vaccinated.
The best time to get a flu shot is before the flu becomes widespread. Typically, the peak season is October to March in the U.S., but can start earlier or end later. Ideally, the flu shot should be given in September or October as the vaccine takes approximately 2 weeks to take effect, but the flu shot can be received later in the season as long as the virus is circulating.
Henrico County employees with County healthcare coverage can go to any pharmacy that accepts our insurance plans and receive the flu shot for free. All pharmacies (including Costco and Sam’s Club) and primary care physicians’ offices offer the flu shot. EHS does not offer the flu shot to employees because it is so readily available at so many other places.
Some pharmacies offer additional “incentives” to those who receive a flu shot. Thus far, the County has been contacted by two pharmacies sharing the following information:
- CVS in Target in Short Pump – Five-dollar Target coupon to those who get a flu shot
- Publix – Ten-dollar Publix gift card (through the end of December 2019) to those who get a flu shot
Other pharmacies and businesses in the Richmond area may offer other incentives so please do your homework. If you have questions about the flu shot, ask your pharmacist or call EHS at 501-1600.