COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

As of April 15, 2021, everyone in Washington age 16 and over is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Please visit our vaccine page for information on how to schedule an appointment.


Influenza Information

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Influenza

Flu season is upon us. Have you gotten your flu shot yet?

Influenza, or flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Common symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and muscle aches and pains. Flu season commonly starts in late fall and can run into the spring.

Health experts agree that the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu is to get an influenza vaccine, more commonly known as a flu shot, before the start of flu season each year. Have you gotten your flu shot yet?

Get a Flu Shot Every Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year for two reasons:

  1. There are many different flu viruses and the viruses are constantly changing, so flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the most recent and most commonly circulating viruses.
  2. A person's immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection.

It's especially important that the following groups get vaccinated, either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

  • Health care workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

For a complete list of all people recommended for flu vaccination, as well as those who are not recommended for flu vaccination, visit Who Should Get Vaccinated.

A Flu Shot is More Important Than Ever This Year

With COVID-19 still impacting our communities this year, getting your annual flu shot will be more important than ever. Ideally you should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. The CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine by the end of October.

Watch: Protecting yourself this flu season

The Flu and COVID19

The flu, like COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, although they are caused by different viruses. Many of the symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are the same, inlcuding:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache

Read more about the similarities and differences of the flu and COVID-19 from the CDC.

Watch: What to do if you get sick this influenza season

Keeping Our MultiCare Hospitals Influenza Free

Normally, in order to help keep our patients, visitors and staff healthy and safe during flu season, MultiCare begins daily wellness screening in December for family and visitors entering our OB, Pediatric and High Risk Nursery areas (NICU, ICN, SCN).

However, due to the continued presence of COVID-19 in our region, we do not anticipate lifting our COVID-19-related visitor restrictions in the near future, which include policies for who may visit the above areas.

Before coming to any of our hospitals or clinics, be sure to read our current visitation policies.