CMS announces launch of 2020 flu season campaign, providing partner resources

September 18, 2020
Policy Snapshot

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has kicked off its 2020-2021 flu season campaign with new resources to encourage people with Medicare or other CMS health care programs to get their flu shot. CMS encourages national and community partners to use CMS materials to educate people about the importance of flu vaccination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a flu shot has many important benefits, including reducing the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death. This is while reducing strain on America’s health care system, keeping hospital beds and other medical resources available for COVID-19 patients.

The CDC says there is  no evidence that a flu vaccination increases the risk of getting sick from a coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated in September or October, but a flu shot anytime during the flu season can help protect you. When going to get a flu shot, CMS recommends following CDC recommendations for running essential errands. CMS encourages people to ask their family doctors, pharmacists, or health departments if they are following CDC's vaccination guidance. Any vaccination location following CDC's guidance should be a safe place to receive a flu vaccine. Medicare Part B covers one flu shot per flu season. Beneficiaries pay nothing for a flu shot if their doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts Medicare payment for giving the shot.

The Society is working on additional guidance and resources about flu vaccination that should be available within the next two weeks.