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Protect Yourself this Flu Season

Flu season is here, and we want you to stay healthy. Your TRICARE® pharmacy benefit covers the flu shot – which is the most effective way to prevent infection – at no cost. Read further to learn more about the flu, obtaining the flu shot via your TRICARE benefit, and how you can prevent getting sick.

Where can I get the flu shot?

There are three ways you can get the flu shot at no cost:

  • Participating Network Pharmacy
    • Find a participating network pharmacy near you
    • If the pharmacy has an onsite clinic that offers the flu vaccine, be sure to get your vaccine from the pharmacist at the pharmacy, not from the clinic. Only vaccines given by a pharmacist are covered by the pharmacy benefit at no cost to you. If you get your vaccine from a provider at an onsite clinic, you may not be covered and you may have to pay the entire cost.
    • Before you visit the pharmacy, call the pharmacy to confirm their current vaccination schedule, the vaccine is available, and any age restrictions.
    • Be sure to present your military ID at the time of service.
  • Military Hospital or Clinic
  • Primary Care Provider or TRICARE-Authorized Provider
    • Find a doctor
    • The vaccine is at no cost to you, but you may have to pay your copayment or cost share for the office visit

Learn more about what your TRICARE pharmacy benefit covers at

What is the flu?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Adults with the flu can be contagious for up to two weeks.

When is flu season?

Flu season occurs in the fall and winter and it peaks between December and February.

Who is considered high risk for flu-related complications?

While everyone is at risk of getting the flu, some people are at an increased risk for flu-related complications, including:

  • Young children
  • Pregnant women
  • People with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart disease
  • People aged 65 or older
  • People with compromised immune systems
  • Health care workers

How does the flu spread?

A person with the flu can spread it to others up to six feet away. The flu is spread by sneezing, coughing, or personal contact. You can also get the flu by touching surfaces with germs on them and then touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

How to prevent the flu:

  • Get your flu vaccine
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year. The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older should receive a yearly flu vaccine, which has been shown to prevent flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and hospitalizations.
  • Prevent the flu through every day actions
    These are a few preventative actions you can take to help slow the spread of germs that cause the flu:
    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick or stay home if you have flu-like symptoms
    • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, not into your hands or in the air and be sure to throw the tissue in the trash after use
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces and objects
  • Take antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them
    Antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness if you get the flu. Antiviral drugs can shorten the time you are sick or make the illness milder. They can also prevent serious complications. If you are prescribed antiviral drugs, follow your doctor’s instructions for taking them.

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