Say yes to being healthy.
The number of lives lost to preventable diseases is staggering. A quarter of all deaths (and some believe even up to half) could be prevented with early preventative actions, according to the National Library of Health. Imagine if you could prevent serious illness for you and your family. You can begin today with one small step: vaccination.
We know you've heard lots of conflicting stories around vaccines in light of the recent pandemic. You may feel afraid. You may worry you aren't being told the full truth. You may have doubts about the science. So, here's one thing you can be certain of: Illinois Extension will continue to give you the unbiased information on vaccine safety like we've been doing for more than 100 years. We've asked the hard questions on your behalf. What we learned is found here.
The choice is and always will be yours to make.
Why I Am Vaccinated
“As a farmer, I depend on science and technology to help me produce safe crops in an environmentally responsible manner. In the same spirit, I support the science behind vaccines.”
Scott Heins, Corn and Soybean Producer, Jackson County
Flu vaccines work
When should I get the flu shot?
Flu shots are available now, according to the CDC. Get your shot by the end of October is the prime month and beat flu season, but anytime is better than never. Prior to COVID-19, the flu often peaked in February. Last year, the peak hit in November and stayed active through June.
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.
Can I get a COVID booster at the same time as my flu shot.
Yes. Studies indicate it is safe to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same visit.
Extension recommends the following research-based resources
Vaccinations save lives.
Vaccines work by training your immune system to recognize and fight the virus or bacteria when it comes in contact with your body. They help you fight disease without getting extremely sick. Watch this great Ted-Ed video on how vaccines work to learn how vaccines teach our bodies to recognize dangerous pathogens.
Adults need vaccines, too.
As we get older, adults need vaccines at different time intervals and for reasons related to your health and lifestyle. There are 12 vaccines most recommended for adults. Talk to a health care provider about which of these are right for you.
There's a new COVID-19 booster that fights the new variants.
The new boosters target the most recent Omicron subvariants: BA.4 and BA.5. These updated COVID-19 boosters are recommended to enhance your protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. The new booster should also increase your immune response to future variants.
Who is eligible for the updated booster?
- The updated Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster is available for people aged 12 years and older.
- The Moderna updated COVID-19 booster is available for people aged 18 years and older.
The CDC recommends that everyone who is eligible receive one dose of the updated vaccine.