Time to get your flu shot

Older man getting a flu shot

Flu shots available at CMH

By Jeff Chow, PharmD, Pharmacy Supervisor

Portrait of Jeff Chow

Jeff Chow, Pharmacist

Flu season is here. Did you know your best defense against the flu is to get a flu shot? With the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important to protect yourself from the flu with this year’s vaccine.

The CMH Outpatient Pharmacies in Astoria and Seaside have flu shots available. During the pandemic, pharmacists can administer the flu vaccine to people age three and older. No appointment is necessary, and immunizations can be done during normal business hours:

Other vaccinations, including those for tetanus, pertussis, pneumonia, shingles and others, can also be done simultaneously at the pharmacies. Most insurances cover the flu vaccine at no cost to you. This is a great time to catch up on any vaccines you may have missed during the pandemic.

Parents with children under three years old should make an appointment with their child’s pediatrician to get them their flu shot.

Who needs the flu vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months and older be vaccinated against the flu. It’s especially important that people at high risk for getting complications from the flu — such as pneumonia — get the vaccine.

That group includes kids younger than five years old; adults 65 and older; pregnant women; and people who have chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Anyone who lives with or is in close contact with someone on that list should also make getting the vaccine a priority.

In the past, people who are allergic to eggs could not get a flu shot, because eggs are used to manufacture vaccines. We have good news — CMH has some FluBlok (egg-free) shots available for those who are 18 and older.

Because it takes several weeks for the flu vaccine to take effect, it’s important to get vaccinated early, in September or October. The flu season can last through the spring, so the sooner you get it, the better.