Influenza | Flu

Flu vaccines work

Sure, most times, people experience mild flu symptoms, such as fever, chills, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. But for some, influenza can be serious, causing pneumonia; heart failure; inflammation of the brain, heart, or muscles; sepsis, or organ failure. The flu spreads from person to person. 

When should I get the flu shot ?

Flu shots are available now. Getting your shot by the end of October is the best options for beating the flu season, but anytime is better than never. Prior to COVID-19, the flu often peaked in February. The last few years, the peak hit in December and January. 

Is the flu shot effective?

Yes. Vaccines work. This year, the flu vaccines have been designed to protect against the four most common flu viruses . The flu shot loses about 8% of its effectiveness each month following your initial shot, so it's important to get a vaccine annually.

Who should get a flu shot?

Anyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated annually. Older people, pregnant people, and people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease are at greater risks of complications from the flu and should receive a flu vaccine.

Should my newborn be vaccinated?

Children younger than 6 months are at risk of serious complications from the flu. Since they're too young to receive the vaccine, protect your baby by getting vaccinated yourself. 

How can I keep from getting the flu?

First, get vaccinated. That's your best protection. Also practice good hygiene,

  • Avoid being close to people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to stop the spread of germs.
  • Disinfect surfaces, such as door handles, tables, and toys, that might be contaminated with the virus.

For more information visit Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information about what vaccines are available for adults, print this Handy Vaccine Schedule for Adults.