Strategies avoid the flu

| October 26, 2012 | 0 Comments

Shari Lopatin
TriWest Healthcare Alliance



PHOENIX — Did you know that nine out of 10 healthy people who get a flu shot, don’t get the flu?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s true.

And because it takes two weeks for a flu shot’s immunity to build completely, now is the best time to get vaccinated for flu season.


Tricare coverage

Military families are in luck. Tricare will cover flu shots or flu mists at no cost. Just make sure to receive the vaccination from your local military clinic, a Tricare network provider or a Tricare network pharmacy.

If you go to a pharmacy, make sure the actual pharmacist gives you the flu shot or mist, to avoid out-of-pocket costs.

If you choose to get your shot at the doctor’s office, be aware that some physicians may charge a small co-pay for the office visit. Also, it’s a good idea to call your local military clinic, first, to find out when flu shots are available.


Coaxing kids for a flu shot

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu, but do your kids throw a fit or shut down when it’s time for their shots?

Making the “shot experience” smooth for your children can be a challenge.

Perhaps, if children see mom or dad getting vaccinated, too, they may go more willingly. Leading by example is important.

Here are some tips:
•Go for your flu shot when you take your kids for theirs.
•Ask if the clinic or pharmacy has flu mist available as an alternative to the shot. Just check with your child’s health care provider, first, to see if it’s a good fit.
•Offer to get your shot, first; it will help to relax your kids.
•If fun or colorful bandages are available, ask to wear one alongside your children.
•Finish the flu shot appointment with a treat, such as a trip to the park or a healthy fruit smoothie.


Other ways to avoid the flu

Keeping active, getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods can help you stand strong against the flu.

Besides getting a flu shot, taking everyday steps from the CDC can help you avoid the flu, in the first place:
•Wash your hands properly; scrub with soap and warm water for approximately 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.”
•Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
•Manage your stress.
•Drink plenty of fluids.
•Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze, and then, throw away the tissue. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth with the crease from your elbow. Never use your hands.


Fight the Flu

For more information on flu prevention tips, visit

To locate a Tricare-covered pharmacy that offers flu vaccinations, call 1-877-363-1303 or visit the Express Scripts website at

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Category: Community, Health

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