By BCH's Valerie Lipetz, MD, FACP and Chief Medical Officer for Ambulatory Services and Population Health

Here are 3 ways you can avoid getting the flu this year:

1. Get a flu vaccine; it’s not too early or too late. Everyone six months or older should receive a flu vaccine. It is especially important if you have heart or lung disease, are 65 years or older or have a chronic disease. Remember that when you get a flu vaccine, you are also protecting those around you who may be harmed by the flu. Children five years old and under and adults over 65 years of age are especially at risk for life-threatening complications from the flu.

2. Stop the spread of germs. You can do this by washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding close contact with sick people and covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.

3. If you do come down with the flu, your provider will help you decide if you would benefit from a flu anti-viral drug. If you are prescribed an anti-viral drug, make sure to take it as directed by your provider.

Boulder Community Health primary care clinics are already offering patients the influenza (flu) vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people get their flu shot early in the fall, if possible. However, will we continue to offer flu shots through March.

This year the CDC’s recommendations for children have changed: Flu mist, a nasal flu spray, is no longer recommended. It will not be offered here at Boulder Community Health. Parents should opt instead for a flu shot for their children.

To schedule a convenient time to receive a flu shot, please call BCH’s Centralized Scheduling phone line at 303-415-4015 or call your BCH primary care clinic. BCH patients can also make an appointment online via the patient portal.

Watch this video of BCH's Valerie Lipetz, MD, and Mark King, MD, of the Beacon Center for Infectious Diseases explain the importance of getting a flu shot this season.