In this time of pandemic, it’s more important than ever to protect ourselves and our community. Preventing the flu is one significant way to do that. Each year, thousands of Americans will die from the flu, and even more are hospitalized because of it. Of those, most do not get vaccinated, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu shots for most children and adults.
Especially vulnerable to the flu are the elderly, infants, people with weakened immune systems and those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes. Couple these populations with those at risk for COVID-19 and there is an incredible need to protect ourselves as much as possible.
The best way to avoid the flu is to get your annual flu shot. Even if you get the flu, the shot can reduce its duration and the severity of your symptoms.
Where to get a flu shot
Adults and Children
How to prevent the flu
Colds vs. Flu vs. COVID-19
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?
No, a flu vaccine cannot cause the flu. Flu vaccines (flu shots) are made with killed (inactivated) viruses and are therefore not infectious, or with proteins from a flu virus. Nasal spray vaccine is made with attenuated (weakened) live flu viruses and cannot cause the flu.
Who should get a flu vaccine?
The CDC recommends that almost everyone ages 6 months or older receive a seasonal flu vaccination. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of complications from the flu including those aged 65 and older, pregnant women, children younger than two, and people with certain chronic medical conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, cancer, kidney or liver disease.
Who should NOT get a flu vaccine?
Children younger than 6 months of age are too young to get a flu shot. People with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine should not get a flu vaccine.
When should I get vaccinated?
According to the CDC, the onset, peak, and end of flu seasons varies from year to year and cannot be predicted. Since it is important to get many people vaccinated before flu activity begins, the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend being vaccinated by the end of October. Children 6 months through 8 years of age, since they require two doses, should receive their first dose as soon as it is available.
Can I still get the flu if I have gotten a flu vaccination?
Yes. It is possible to get the flu even if you have received a flu vaccination. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu between 40% and 60%. Some people may have already contracted the flu prior to vaccination. The flu vaccination may take about two weeks to become effective. The flu vaccine reduces the severity of flu symptoms if you do get sick.