The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu is by getting vaccinated.
CareMore and the CDC recommends receiving a flu shot before the end of October.
For more information and to make a vaccine appointment, call the number assigned to your area:
AZ, CA, NV, VA — 888-605-1030 (from 8-5 PT)
Washington, D.C., NC, TN — 833-359-0373 (from 11-8 ET)
IA, TX — 855-295-7813 (from 9-8 CT)
Or CLICK HERE to be contacted by one of our associates.
Your flu shot questions, answered
Why it’s your best shot to protect yourself from flu
What can a flu shot really do for you and your health? Dr. Paul Mikulecky, Carelon Health’s Chief Medical Officer, answers the most common questions about flu vaccines.
1. Why should I get a flu shot?
The flu is contagious and can lead to major illness, hospitalization, and even death. For people with chronic conditions, the vaccine can be a helpful preventive tool against developing serious flu complications.
2. Do I need to get a flu shot every year?
Yes. Viruses change quickly, and the vaccine from last year may not be effective this year. Every year, new flu vaccines are released to keep up with these changes.
3. What complications can the flu cause, especially if I have a chronic illness?
People with chronic conditions can get severely ill with the flu. In more serious cases, the flu can lead to pneumonia, heart attacks, inflammation, organ failure, and blood infections. Heart and lung complications could also happen from the flu. Every year, thousands of Americans die from the flu and even more are hospitalized.
4. Can the flu shot cause the flu?
No. This is a common misconception. The vaccine is safe and has never caused anyone to get sick with the flu. There is no live virus in a flu shot. What most people feel after a flu shot is their immune system responding to the vaccine. This leads to occasional soreness or muscle aches that are commonly and incorrectly associated with being sick with the flu.
5. Can I get the flu shot and my COVID booster shot at the same time?
Yes, you can get both vaccines at the same time.
6. Can I get the flu shot if I have an egg allergy?
Yes. If you have an egg allergy, the CDC recommends that you get the shot at your doctor’s office or another place where there are healthcare providers present. There are also flu vaccines with no egg components. If you would like a vaccine with no eggs, please ask your pharmacist or doctor.
7. What are the side effects of the flu shot?
Like most vaccines, side effects may include soreness, redness, or swelling from the shot, headache, fever, nausea, or body aches. This is not uncommon and will often resolve in a day or two and may be treated with over-the-counter medicines. You can always talk with your doctor or nurse, too.
8. Where can I go to get my free flu shot?
You can get your free flu shot at a Carelon Health Care Center, pharmacy, or doctor’s office. To schedule your flu shot, visit https://lp.caremore.com/Flu.html or call:
888-605-1030 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT) in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Virginia
833-359-0373 (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET) in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C.
855-295-7813 (9 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT) in Iowa and Texas
9. What are the latest guidelines on COVID-19 vaccines?
Health experts say that people:
- 6 years and older should get one updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to be up to date.
- 65 years and older may get a second dose of updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
- Who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
You can get a flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time if you’re due for both vaccines. Call your Carelon Health Care Center for COVID-19 vaccine availability.
If you have questions or concerns, please call your Carelon Health Care Center or contact your doctor, nurse or other health professional.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, Seasonal Flu Vaccines (accessed August 14, 2023): https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/flushot.htm.
 Mayo Clinic website, Flu shot: Your best bet for avoiding influenza (accessed August 14, 2023): https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/in-depth/flu-shots/art-20048000#:~:text=The%20flu%20vaccine%20can%20lower,to%20stay%20in%20the%20hospital.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, Flu Vaccine and People with Egg Allergies (accessed August 15, 2023): https://anthem.my.workfront.com/issue/64db16b6004838ce2d16b92fef01a4e8/overview?email-source=assignedTo.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines (accessed September 14, 2023):https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.