Cancer, the Flu, and You

A Flu Vaccine Is More Important Than Ever!

This video shares the importance of getting a flu vaccine to protect yourself, your family, and your community from flu.

If you have cancer now or have had cancer in the past, you are at higher risk for complications from the flu.

Get Your Flu Shot!

Flu vaccination is especially important for people with cancer or a history of cancer because they are at high risk of developing serious flu complications.

Are You 65 Years Old or Older?

Some older adults (65 years of age and older) may have a weaker immune response to flu vaccines. This can make them more likely to get the flu or flu complications.

Two vaccines are designed to create a stronger immune response in people who are 65 or older—

  • The high-dose flu vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen (the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses) as the regular flu shot.
  • The adjuvanted flu vaccine contains an additive (called adjuvant) that can create a stronger immune response to vaccination.

For more information, see People 65 Years and Older and Influenza.

You May Need a Pneumococcal Shot, Too

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a serious flu-related complication that can cause death. People with cancer or other diseases that compromise the immune system should ask their doctor about pneumococcal shots.

What to Do If You Get Sick

Page last reviewed: October 27, 2020