The flu is a sickness that infects the nose, throat and lungs. Seasonal flu — the flu that comes year after year — begins in early October and lasts into May. It is caused by the influenza virus. Getting a flu shot each fall is the best way to prevent the flu.
Flu shots are FREE to all members. Get a flu shot as soon as possible. Check with your primary care provider or your local pharmacy during the flu season to find out when you and your family can get flu shots.
Should I get a flu shot?
Yes, everyone ages 6 months and older should receive an annual flu vaccine unless there is a medical reason not to get one. The groups listed below are those people who are at higher risk for complications of flu, and who should get a flu vaccine as soon as it is available.
- Children and adolescents ages 6 months to 59 months
- Adults ages 50 and older
- People who live or work in nursing homes and other long-term housing facilities for people with chronic medical conditions
- People who have long-term health problems such as heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney disease or metabolic disease, such as diabetes, anemia and other blood disorders
- People with certain muscle or nerve disorders that could cause breathing or swallowing problems (such as seizure disorders or severe cerebral palsy)
- People with a weakened immune system due to:
- HIV/AIDS or other diseases affecting the immune system
- Long-term treatment with drugs such as steroids
- Cancer treatment with X-rays or drugs
- Women who are pregnant during flu season
- Health-care workers, family members or anyone who provides direct patient care
- Caregivers and people who have close contact to children 0 to 59 months old, adults 50 years and older and people with high-risk medical conditions
- Anyone who wants to reduce their chance of getting flu should get a flu shot.
Where can I get a flu shot?
- To find a flu shot provider, you can use these resources:
- Flu Shot Locator
- The Oregon Flu Hotline (1-800-978-3040)
- SafeNet (503-988-5858). Outside the Portland metro calling area or for languages other than English, call toll free 1-800-SAFENET (1-800-723-3638).
- Members who are 19 or older may get a flu shot from a Columbia Pacific CCO participating pharmacy. Call your pharmacy to see if they provide flu shots. Take your ID card and ask them to bill Columbia Pacific CCO.
- Members age 18 or younger should get a flu shot from their primary care provider.