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Flu Season is Around the Corner

Family standing in drivewayEveryone 6 months and older should get an annual flu vaccine. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop full protection against the flu. Get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones!

Shorter days and cooler evenings. It is fall—and often the time that we start seeing people get sick with flu. By getting a flu vaccine for yourself and your entire family every season, you can help prevent flu-related illness, missed school and work and even more serious flu-related illness.

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat, and lungs and can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. Pneumonia and bronchitis are examples of serious flu-related complications. The flu also can cause certain health conditions, like diabetes, asthma, and heart and lung disease, to become worse. Even healthy people can become sick with the flu and experience serious complications. But even if you are one of the lucky ones who bounces back quickly from a bout with the flu, people around you might not be so lucky. Getting a flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and your family from this serious disease.

Watch this video to learn why everyone needs a flu vaccine.

Watch this fun video [0:30 seconds] to learn why everyone needs a flu vaccine!

Everyone Needs a Flu Vaccine – Every Flu Season

Flu viruses are constantly changing, and different flu viruses can circulate and cause illness each season. Flu vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common. Also, immunity from vaccination declines after a year. This is why everyone needs a flu vaccine every season.

While everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine this season with rare exception, it’s especially important for some people to get vaccinated.

Those people include the following:

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

Mother and daughter

Some children 6 months through 8 years of age will require two doses of flu vaccine for adequate protection from flu.

A Reminder for Parents

Some children 6 months through 8 years of age need two doses of influenza vaccine. Children in this age group who are getting vaccinated for the first time, as well as some who have been vaccinated previously, will need two doses. Your child’s doctor or other health care professional can tell you whether your child needs two doses of flu vaccine.

Vaccine Options

Flu vaccines are made to protect against three or four different flu viruses (called “trivalent” or “quadrivalent” vaccines).

Trivalent flu vaccines protect against two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus. The following trivalent flu vaccines are available:

The quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The following quadrivalent flu vaccines are available:

  • A quadrivalent flu shot that is manufactured using virus grown in eggs. There are several different flu shots of this type available, and they are approved for people of different ages. Some are approved for use in people as young as 6 months of age.
  • An intradermal quadrivalent shot, which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot. It is approved for people 18 through 64 years of age.
  • A quadrivalent nasal spray vaccine, approved for people 2 through 49 years of age.

Vaccine Safety

The flu vaccine is safe. People have been receiving flu vaccines for more than 50 years. Vaccine safety is closely monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hundreds of millions of flu vaccines have been given safely to people across the country for decades.

A common misconception is that a flu vaccine can give you the flu. They cannot. The most common side effects from a flu shot are soreness and/or redness where the shot was given, maybe a low fever or achiness. The nasal spray flu vaccine might cause congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or cough. These side effects are NOT the flu. If you do experience them at all, these side effects are usually mild and short-lived.

Where to Get Vaccinated

Flu vaccine should be available widely, and in many convenient locations. See your doctor or other health care professional to get the flu vaccine, or seek out other locations where vaccine is being offered, such as pharmacies, health departments, grocery stores and many other places. Use the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find flu vaccine in your area.