FLU SHOT INFORMATION
The flu is still a huge threat to our health. Every year, the flu shot is updated to protect you from any new strands of flu virus. That’s why it’s vital to get your flu shot every year. The good news is, the flu shot is safe, easy to get, and free!
Not sure about the flu shot? Don’t know where to get the flu shot? We’re here to answer all your flu shot questions! Explore the topics below.
Common Flu Shot Questions
Why should I get the flu shot?
The flu shot helps protect you from getting infected with the flu virus. The flu virus is also known as influenza. Influenza is a serious respiratory infection that affects your breathing. It can lead to hospitalization or even death for people who are at high risk for health-related issues.
Want to know why else the flu shot is helpful?
Is the flu shot safe?
The flu shot has a long history of being safe. The flu shot was first introduced over 60 years ago. It was then tested on thousands of people in clinical trials. The flu shot was only approved for the public after it passed strict safety standards.
Millions of people all over the world have gotten the flu shot without having any issues. Also, scientific research organizations continue to make sure it’s safe for the public.
If you have any concerns, talk to your provider. You can also read the CDC’s flu shot safety information.
How does the flu shot work?
The flu shot works by telling your body to make antibodies. Antibodies help our body fight infections. The flu shot helps our bodies make these cells against the flu virus. These antibodies are made about <wo weeks after getting the flu shot. They help to protect you against the flu viruses. You may have a mild fever and chills as your body makes antibodies. These side effects are normal. They are not flu-related. The flu shot does not ‘give’ you the flu.
There are many types of flu shots. The CDC has up-to-date information on which flu shots are available each flu season.
Who should get the flu shot?
Most people six months of age or older should get the flu shot every year. The flu shot is most vital if you fall within a high-risk group. You may be more prone to having serious health-related issues or dying from the flu if you’re in a high-risk group.
You are high risk if:
- You’re 65 years of age or older.
- You’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
- You live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility.
- You have a chronic condition like asthma, diabetes, or COPD.
Even if you don’t fall into these categories, you should still get the flu shot. The flu shot is just as important if you live with or care for someone who’s in a high-risk group.
When should I get my flu shot?
The best time to get your flu shot is the beginning of flu season. Flu season can start as early as September and can go through May. This is a peak time for the flu to spread. The earlier you get your flu shot, the better.
Where can I get the flu shot?
You can get your free flu shot from your primary care provider (PCP).You can also get a flu shot at any local pharmacy near you.
Looking for a pharmacy?
Click the button below and enter in your zip code. This will pull up a list of pharmacies located near you.
Don’t have a PCP?
Click the button below. Enter in your address by clicking “Location” at the top of the page This will pull up PCPs accepting new patients near you.
Six Facts About the Flu Shot
- FACT: The flu shot does not give you the flu.
The virus in the flu shot is dead. A dead virus cannot make you sick. Instead, it helps your body build immunity.
- FACT: The flu virus is always changing.
The flu virus strains can change from one year to the next. The flu shot is updated each season as needed. This is based on which flu viruses will be most common.
- FACT: The flu shot is safe.
The flu shot has a long history of being safe. The first flu shot was developed in the 1940s. The CDC routinely monitors the safety of the flu shot.
- FACT: The COVID-19 vaccine does not protect you from the flu.
It doesn’t matter if you are vaccinated against COVID-19. The viruses that cause the flu are different from the virus that causes COVID-19. This is why it’s vital to get your flu shot. Only the flu shot can help protect you from the flu.
- FACT: People of all ages need the flu shot.
Some people are at a higher risk for health-related issues if they get the flu. Getting the flu shot can reduce the risk of serious health-related issues for people of all ages.
- FACT: The flu shot is safe during pregnancy.
Women can get the flu shot during pregnancy, at any point. If you’re pregnant, the antibodies produced by you will transfer to your baby. This will protect them until they can get the flu shot at six months of age.
Flu vs. COVID-19: What’s the Difference?
COVID-19 and the flu are both contagious respiratory illnesses. But COVID-19 is caused by a different virus than the flu. COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus. The flu is caused by the Influenza A and Influenza B viruses. The symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar:
It can be hard to know which virus you have based on the symptoms. That’s why you should get tested to help confirm a diagnosis.
Talk to your provider or care coordinator for more help. You can also visit the COVID-19 Member Resource Center.