PORT ORCHARD — A no-cost influenza vaccination for uninsured adults over the age of 18 is available at Albertsons and Safeway pharmacies in the area.
The state Department of Health said it is collaborating with 23 Albertsons and Safeway pharmacies across Washington state to offer flu vaccine free of charge through June 2021 to uninsured adults. The pharmacies will not charge an administration fee, and no proof of residency or immigration status will be required.
The state department said that each individual six months or older needs a new flu vaccine shot each year. Young children, pregnant women, people with underlying health conditions, and those who are 65 and older are at high risk of complications from flu illness. It is especially noteworthy since health officials are concerned that the presence of both the flu and COVID-19 virus could put more people in the hospital and strain Washington’s health care system.
Much like COVID-19, influenza is a highly contagious disease that can cause mild to severe illness, can lead to hospitalization and can even be fatal — even in healthy young adults. But while receiving a flu vaccine reduces your chances of getting the flu, it does not prevent other respiratory infections.
Adults who have insurance should also get vaccinated now, officials said. Flu vaccine for those ages 19 and older is covered by most insurance companies and by Medicare and Apple Health (Medicaid). Washington also provides flu vaccine and all recommended vaccines at no cost to anyone under 19.
For help finding a health care provider or vaccine location, and to learn more about the flu, visit KnockOutFlu.org.