Healthfirst Offers Members Free Flu Shots

Oct 24, 2019

Tips to Help Stay Flu Free This Winter

OCTOBER 24, 2019, New York, NY -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu virus can spread to others up to six feet away.1 Getting yourself vaccinated may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.2

This is why Healthfirst is reminding members to get their annual flu shot, which is available to them at no cost. Healthfirst members can schedule an appointment for a free flu shot with their doctor, or go to a participating pharmacy or local urgent care center. There is no need for Healthfirst members to travel far to get vaccinated. They can visit to find an in-network doctor or to locate a convenient pharmacy.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

    • The CDC recommends everyone over the age of six months be vaccinated against the flu.
    • Pregnant women, as the shot offers protection for both the woman and her unborn baby.
    • People living in a nursing home or healthcare workers.
    • Healthcare workers who are exposed to people who are sick.


Who is at high risk for developing complications from the flu?

    • Seniors over the age of 65
    • People with underlying health problems (e.g., asthma, diabetes, heart disease)


“Getting a flu shot protects you and those around you,” said Jay Schechtman, Chief Clinical Officer at Healthfirst. “There is also evidence that the vaccine can lessen the severity of the flu if you do get sick, and reduce the likeliness of developing complications of the virus, including pneumonia and death. There is no reason to delay; free flu shots are available now.”

Five tips to stay flu free this season:

    • Get a flu shot! The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu and its potentially serious complications. It’s easy to get vaccinated. Many local pharmacies offer the vaccine, so you don’t even need a doctor’s appointment.
    • Keep it clean. Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day, especially before and after eating, and before and after entering shared, high-traffic spaces like the restrooms and mass transit. When on the go, use hand sanitizer.
    • Be considerate when coughing or sneezing. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze. No tissue within reach? Cough or sneeze into the inner part of your sleeve, at the elbow.
    • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Do your best to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet; stay hydrated; get enough sleep; and exercise regularly in order to keep your defenses as strong as possible.
    • If you get sick, stay home. If you develop flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work; children should stay home from school for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.



About Healthfirst

Healthfirst is New York’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, earning the trust of nearly 1.4 million members by offering access to affordable healthcare. Sponsored by New York City’s leading hospitals, Healthfirst’s unique advantage is rooted in its mission to put members first by working closely with its broad network of providers on shared goals. Healthfirst takes pride in being pioneers of the value-based care model, now recognized as a national best practice. For more than 25 years, Healthfirst has built its reputation in the community for top-quality products and services New Yorkers can depend on. It has grown significantly to serve the needs of members, offering market-leading products to fit every life stage, including Medicaid plans, Medicare Advantage plans, long-term care plans, qualified health plans, and individual and small group plans.