It's that time of year again. The leaves are turning colors and the people around you are beginning to cough and sneeze. I am not a medical provider so I can't say if one source of a flu shot is better than another. I also can't make any claims that guarantee a flu shot will keep you healthy. Normally I go to my doctor in October to get my annual flu shot. This year, I got my flu shot from the MinuteClinic inside my local CVS store.
When I go to the doctor I must first make an appointment and then often spend some time sitting in the waiting room before being taken back. I love my doctor, but for something simple like a flu shot, MinuteClinic was much more convenient. I stopped into CVS after work and after signing in on a touch screen, I answered a few screener questions which made sure I met the health qualifications (no allergies to the flu shot, correct age range, etc.) for the shot. Within minutes, a nurse came out and called me in. She confirmed my identity and asked if I had any questions regarding the screener or if I needed to clarify anything before having the vaccination. In total I spent less than 30 minutes at CVS, and that includes shopping with my 20% savings pass I received after my vaccination.
I thought that the MinuteClinic really lived up to its name because it literally only took a few minutes. This might not always be the case though because the nature of medical providers. At more popular times, or during a medical emergency you might need to wait longer. You can check on their website for a full list of medical services provided at MinuteClinic.
MinuteClinic locations accept insurance but they also provide preventative medical care if you don't have insurance. Often times they are lower in cost than going to a doctor. Some insurance companies cover the cost of the entire flu shot, while others might have you pay a small fee. If you have insurance, please check with your provider for full details and coverage.
What should I do to prepare for this flu season?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. Getting the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available each year is always a good idea, and the protection you get from vaccination will last throughout the flu season. In addition, you can take everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools. Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or work.
Source: Center for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Disclaimer: I received a free flu shot in exchange for this post. It did not effect my review of MinuteClinic. All opinions are 100% my own.