Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious infection caused by a virus that can produce fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue. The flu can lead to serious health complications, especially in young children, pregnant women, people age 65 and older, and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease.
The most important way to protect yourself against the flu is to receive a yearly flu vaccination. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming flu season. The vaccination can reduce the risk of illness, doctors’ visits, missed school or work, and hospitalizations caused by the flu.
To protect yourself from the flu, it is important to get a flu vaccine before flu activity begins in your community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine before the end of October. To learn more about preventing the flu, talk to your primary care provider and see the CDC’s website.
CalPERS encourages members to receive an annual flu vaccine, which is typically covered 100 percent. Many vaccines can be obtained on a walk-in basis by showing your member ID card.
If you are enrolled in the PERS Select PPO plan, you can earn a $100 deductible credit for receiving the flu vaccine within the calendar year.
Make flu safety a priority this year.