This year, it is more important than ever to take necessary precautions to maintain good overall health, which includes doing our part to keep ourselves, our families, and communities protected against the flu. The reality we face this year is that those most vulnerable to the flu may be the same as those at higher risk for suffering severe illness from COVID-19, including the elderly and people facing underlying conditions.
Anthem is on a mission to simplify healthcare and improve lives and communities. That’s why we recently launched an initiative dedicated to increasing flu vaccinations in communities with the greatest need. Our initiative includes:
- Raising awareness of the importance of the flu shot;
- Checking in with higher-risk members; and
- Providing access to no-cost flu shots at pop-up clinics.
The pop-up clinics are taking place in states and counties where flu vaccination rates have been lower than the national average and the population is at higher risk for flu. For example, African American and Hispanic communities have historically faced higher risk for both the flu and COVID-19. To address these health disparities, Anthem is collaborating with organizations on the ground — including more than 100 community-based organizations, and the National Hispanic Medical Association and 100 Black Men of America — to fully understand and address the unmet needs. Together, Anthem and its partners aim to host an estimated 500 pop-up flu clinics, having already provided more than 5,000 no-cost shots for anyone in these communities, including those living without health insurance coverage.
In addition to supporting our communities, Anthem is stepping up our work to ensure our members get their flu shots. We developed a microsite – www.my-flu-shot.com – to address common barriers to getting the flu shot. For example, the website provides facts from the CDC to dispel myths, as well as a pharmacy locater tool to find pharmacies that offer the flu shot. Given the added importance of flu vaccination this season, Anthem’s health plan affiliates are providing additional education for members throughout the country to help break down historical barriers to flu vaccinations.
- Creating awareness that health insurance plans cover the flu shot at no cost;
- Reminding our members that it’s easy to get vaccinated at a local pharmacy, general practitioner’s office or pop-up clinic;
- Reaching out to members with flu shot reminders via phone, email, mail, social media, text and online; and
- Providing no-cost transportation to and from flu vaccinations for Medicaid and select Medicare members.
With a 50-year history of good safety records, the flu shot is the best thing we can do to reduce our risk of getting sick. The flu kills tens of thousands of people in this country every year, and this year COVID-19 has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands more. Join us as we work to provide resources that protect our communities from this scourge.