The CDC recommends that you and your family members get a flu vaccine in September or October. Because it takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide protection, it is recommended that you and your family members get vaccinated before the flu begins spreading in the community.
This year, flu shots are highly recommended as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change and evolve on a global scale. Both flu and COVID-19 are serious respiratory illnesses. Because some symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.
Getting the flu vaccine later in the season is still beneficial – assuming flu viruses are prevalent – and can protect you and your family members from serious flu illness and flu-related complications.
The number of immunizations created each season are limited and it is expected flu shots will be in high demand as long as the COVID-19 pandemic remains an active threat.
Previous flu seasons may have had less emphasis on the advantages of making an appointment to receive your flu shot. “Walk-ins welcome!” has long been a popular approach to checking your flu shot immunization off the to-do list. Employees and their families are encouraged to make an immunization appointment early in the season, before demand really starts to increase. Appointments save the time and inconvenience of waiting out long lines for walk-in immunizations, in addition to increased sanitization between patients waiting for their flu shots.
Check with your doctor directly regarding their specific flu shot administration process to determine details, including flu shot availability, appointment requirements and applicable co-payment/co-insurance costs. Some doctors’ offices may offer a tiered approach to flu shot administration that could entail scheduled appointments, drive-up immunizations or walk-in flu shots. Your doctor can help determine the best approach for you and your family.
If your doctor is unable to provide you with a flu shot, many other locations will continue to offer flu shot immunizations this season, including pharmacy clinics such as participating CVS and Walgreens locations, and participating Walmart, King Soopers and Safeway pharmacies. Flu shot availability and administration may vary by location, so it is best to call ahead with any questions.
For CU Health Plan – Exclusive members, UCHealth primary care clinics will begin to offer patients and Exclusive plan members the flu shot beginning in mid-September. There is no extra cost when an Exclusive plan member receives a flu shot during an office visit. If a member would like to receive their flu shot from a UCHealth clinic without an office appointment, there will be a designated nurse in each clinic to administer the shot. There is no extra cost when a member receives a flu shot from this designated nurse.
Check out the following additional resources, which vary by CU Health Plan, and give yourself a shot at good health!
Flu shot resources for CU faculty and staff by CU Health Plan
Exclusive, Extended, High Deductible and Medicare
The flu shot is covered under Anthem plan members’ preventive care benefits at 100% when you go to a health professional in your plan. Contact your primary care doctor for information about receiving your flu shot. Members can also get a flu shot at urgent care facilities, retail health clinics, many pharmacies or walk-in doctors’ offices in their plan.
Call the number on your Anthem member ID card or visit anthem.com to find a health professional in your plan near you. Members may also visit timewellspent.anthem.com/employee-education/cold-flu for more information on flu shot season.
For additional questions, call the Anthem Dedicated Customer Service team at 1-800-735-6072.
CVS Caremark administers the pharmacy benefits of Anthem CU Health Plans. There will be no cost to members who receive their flu shot at any network pharmacy. Find network pharmacy locations at Caremark.com. Visit CVS.com/immunizations/flu for more information.
Questions? Contact CVS Caremark’s dedicated CU Health Plan Customer Care team at 1-888-964-0121, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
CU Health Plan – Kaiser members will receive either an email, direct mail and/or text message about flu shots in August and September. Members may visit kp.org/flu or call the flu hotline at any time for a listing of all medical offices offering flu shots and get the most up-to-date information on flu vaccine supply.
Members can call the 24/7 Flu Hotline anytime, day or night:
- Denver/Boulder: 303-344-7600
- Mountain/Northern/Southern Colorado: 1-866-868-7091
Kaiser is offering a phased approach to flu shot immunizations for the 2020-21 flu season:
- Scheduled appointments (which began Sept. 1): Members can receive a flu shot at their next scheduled appointment at a KPCO medical office.
- Drive-up flu shots: Sept. 1-30, by appointment only, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Walk-in flu shots: Oct. 1-Nov. 30, no appointment necessary, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Beginning Dec. 1, members will need to make an appointment to get a flu shot at a KPCO medical office.
Members in the Southern, Northern or Mountain Colorado service areas may also get a flu shot at an affiliate provider or a community retailer. Applicable copayment/coinsurance may apply. Members should keep their receipt, download a medical claim form from kp.org, and send it in with the flu shot receipt to the address on the claim form. Members can call Member Services to have a claim form mailed to them.
Students, faculty and staff can get a flu vaccination through the CU Anschutz Campus Health Center by calling 303-724-6242 to make an appointment. Drive up or walk up to the tent located in the Monte Vista parking lot south of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at your scheduled time. Please do not arrive early or late to your appointment time. Do not enter the Wellness Center building.
Appointments are offered most Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, until Oct. 15, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2 p.m.-5 p.m.