A Strong Defense Against The Flu


The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. CDC recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine.


What are some key reasons to get a flu vaccine?

• Every year, flu vaccination prevents illnesses, medical visits,

hospitalizations, and deaths.

• Flu vaccination also is an important preventive tool for

people with chronic health conditions. For example, flu

vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some

cardiac events among people with heart disease.

• Vaccinating pregnant women helps protect them from flu

illness and hospitalization, and also has been shown to

help protect the baby from flu infection for several months

after birth, before the baby can be vaccinated.

• A 2017 study showed that flu vaccine can be life-saving

in children.

• While some people who get vaccinated still get sick, flu

vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce

the severity of illness.


Why is it important to get a flu vaccine EVERY year?

• Flu viruses are constantly changing, so flu vaccines maybe

updated from one season to the next to protect against the

viruses that research suggests will be common during the

upcoming flu season.

• Your protection from a flu vaccine declines over time.

Yearly vaccination is needed for the best protection.


Is the flu vaccine safe?

Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of

Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years.

Extensive research supports the safety of seasonal flu vaccines.

Each year, CDC works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

(FDA) and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for

flu vaccines. More information about the safety of flu vaccines is

available at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccinesafety.htm.


What are the side effects of flu vaccines?

Flu shots: Flu shots are made using killed flu viruses (for inactivated

vaccines), or without flu virus at all (for the recombinant vaccine). So,

you cannot get flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may

occur include soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was

given, low-grade fever, and aches.


Nasal spray flu vaccines: The viruses in nasal spray flu vaccines are

weakened and do not cause the severe symptoms often associated

with influenza illness. For adults, side effects from the nasal spray may

include runny nose, headache, sore throat, and cough. For children,

side effects may also include wheezing, vomiting, muscle aches, and

fever.

If these problems occur, they are usually mild and go away on their

own, but serious reactions are also possible. Almost all people who

receive the flu vaccine have no serious problems from it.


When and Where to get vaccinated?

You should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, as long

as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout

flu season, even in January or later.

Flu vaccines are offered in many doctors’ offices and clinics. Flu

the vaccine is available in many other locations, including health