No one likes getting sick. And the flu virus changes every year. So, getting a yearly shot helps protect yourself and those around you.
The flu shot is a good idea for just about everyone. But these people are at an even higher risk of health problems from the flu:
- Pregnant Moms
Pregnancy can put you at higher risk for getting the flu and put your unborn baby at risk, too. But getting a flu shot can help protect you and your baby.
- Children and Families
Young children have a higher risk of health problems from the flu. Newborns are also at a high risk but can’t get the flu shot until they are six months old.
- People with a Chronic Condition or Caregivers
People with a weakened immune system are more likely to get very ill from the flu. Getting your yearly flu shot helps protect yourself and those around you.
- Seniors or Those Who Care for Them
Our immune defenses weaken with age. And people age 65 and older are at a higher risk for health issues from the flu. If you're a senior or live with seniors, a flu shot will help protect you all.
Common Questions about the Flu
- Flu viruses are always changing. Scientists predict which virus will be most common each year. Flu vaccines are changed each flu season to make them work as well as possible.
- Your protection with the flu shot gets weaker over time. That’s why a yearly flu shot is needed to help keep you from getting sick.
No. The flu vaccine is made from either inactive flu virus or none at all. That means getting a flu shot cannot give you the flu. But it can reduce your chances of catching the flu.
- You should get a flu shot before the flu starts spreading where you live. Fall is the best time to get your yearly shot. If possible, get the shot by the end of October.
- You can get your flu shot in many doctor's offices. You may also get it in pharmacies, clinics, and health centers. Check your plan coverage to find out if the flu shot is covered at locations other than your doctor's office.
The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children than adults.
Visit your doctor or urgent care or call the nurse advice line with any health questions. The emergency room is urged if you have high fever or trouble breathing.