Flu Shot

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The sooner you get your flu shot, the sooner you start protecting yourself and others! Need a doctor? We can help with that too! Just use our Find a Doctor tool.

When is the flu season?

Flu season can start as early as September and can go through May. You should try to get your flu shot before the flu starts spreading in your community. The earlier you get your flu shot, the better. Always plan to get your flu shot as soon as it becomes available in the fall. If that’s not possible, at least plan to get it before the end of October.

Who should get the flu shot?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), most people six months of age or older should get the flu shot every year. The flu shot is most vital for those who have a higher risk of health-related issues if they get the flu. These people are called “high-risk.” The CDC classifies high risk to be:

  • People 65 years of age or older
  • Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • People who live in a nursing home or other long-term care facilities
  • People of any age with certain chronic conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes, heart, kidney, liver and blood or metabolic disorders.)
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for health-related issues.

Is the flu shot safe?

According to the CDC, the flu shot has a long history of being safe and effective. For more than 60 years, millions of people around the world have gotten the flu shot, and scientific research organizations have told us that it is safe.

If you have any concerns, we strongly encourage you to talk with your doctor or local pharmacist. You can also read the CDC’s flu shot safety information.

Why is the flu shot important?

The flu shot helps protect you from getting the flu (influenza). It is a serious respiratory disease that affects your breathing. Flu can lead to hospitalizations or even death for people who are at high risk for health-related issues.

Still not sure about the flu shot? Read more about the benefits of getting your flu shot.

How does the flu shot work?

A flu shot works by telling your body to create antibodies. These antibodies are developed about two weeks after getting the flu shot and are what help to protect you against the flu viruses. As you begin to develop these antibodies, some people may experience mild fevers and chills.

There are many types of flu shots. The CDC provides up-to-date information on which flu shots are available each flu season. Take a look at different types of flu shots to learn more.

Flu Shot Facts

  • FACT: The flu shot does not give you the flu.
    The virus in the flu shot is a dead virus. 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 very 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: People aged 65+ need the flu shot.
    People that are 65 years of age and older 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.
  • FACT: The flu shot is safe during pregnancy.
    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says pregnant women can get the flu shot at any point during pregnancy. The antibodies produced by the mother will transfer to the baby and protect them until they are able to get the flu shot at six months of age.
  • FACT: The COVID-19 vaccine does not protect you from the flu.
    It doesn’t matter if you are vaccinated for COVID-19. The viruses that cause the flu are different from the virus that causes COVID-19. Because of this, it is still vital to get your flu shot to protect yourself from the flu.