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Answers to Common Medication-Related Questions

Ask an ExactCare Pharmacist

Everyone has questions from time to time about their medications. Your pharmacist is a great resource to help answer these types of questions! Pharmacists are the medication experts on your healthcare team. They have extensive education about medications, how they interact with one another, and how they can support your health. Here, we provide some answers to common medication-related questions featuring one of ExactCare’s own clinical pharmacists, Reeya Patel, PharmD, BCMTMS.


Reeya Patel, PharmD, BCMTMS

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Should I get a flu shot?

Millions of people every year get the flu, and hundreds of thousands of people end up in the hospital because of the flu. An annual flu vaccine is available to help protect your health. It can help prevent you from getting the flu or reduce the effects of it if you do become ill.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends most people who are age six months or older receive the flu shot each year. There are some exceptions to this. For example, the CDC does not recommend you get a flu shot if you:

  • Have a life-threatening allergy to any ingredient in the vaccine, such as gelatin
  • Have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past

It is important to keep in mind that this is not a complete list of guidelines. It is always best to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your personal health situation to determine if the flu shot is right for you. You can also visit the CDC website to learn more.

Getting the flu vaccine before the virus spreads benefits you the most. The months of September and October are usually a good time of year. Getting the flu shot around this time can help protect you throughout the entire flu season.

The flu virus is around all year long, with peak flu season usually lasting from December through February, sometimes longer. So even if you do not get the flu shot by the end of October, it can still help you.

Many people wonder if they need to get both the COVID-19 shot and the flu shot. These vaccines are different. They protect you from different viruses. If you want vaccine protection from both the flu and COVID-19, you will need to get both shots.

Studies have shown you can get both of these shots at the same time. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can also let you know what to expect.

You can get both the flu shot and the COVID-19 shot from your doctor, a pharmacy, or your local health department.

Different vaccines are approved for different age groups. For this flu season, the CDC recommends a higher dose of the flu vaccine, compared to the standard dose, for people who are 65 years and older.

This might sound complicated, but don’t worry! You won’t need to figure out which flu vaccine you need. The healthcare provider that gives you the flu shot will determine the dose and vaccine that is right for you.

When in doubt, ask questions! Your doctors and pharmacists are there to support you.

Information featured on the ExactCare website, including the Ask a Pharmacist page, should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your pharmacist or doctor for advice regarding your personal health situation. If ExactCare is your pharmacy, call us directly to talk to your pharmacist: 1-877-355-7225


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