Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease which affects the lungs and can lead to serious illness, including pneumonia. Even healthy people can get sick enough to miss work or school for a significant amount of time or even be hospitalized. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
Pregnant women, young children, older people, and people with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease are at increased risk of serious flu-related complications, so getting a yearly flu vaccine is especially important for them.
Yes. The flu vaccine is safe. They have been given to hundreds of millions of people for more than 50 years and have a very good safety track record. Each year, CDC works closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for flu vaccines.
Even if you got a flu vaccine, there are reasons why you might still get flu or a flu-like illness.
The flu vaccine doesn’t provide the same protection for everyone. How well the flu vaccine works can range widely from season to season and also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated.
The very minor pain of a flu shot is nothing compared to the suffering that can be caused by the flu.
You need to get a flu vaccine every year to protect yourself against the viruses that research suggests are most likely to circulate each season. There are two reasons for getting a flu vaccine every year:
Previously, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices determined that the nasal spray flu vaccine, also called “flu mist”, should not be used during the 2017 - 2018 flu season due to poor effectiveness of the vaccine in previous years. While it has returned to the market for the 2018 - 2019 flu season, its effectiveness is not yet known and it will not be available in Primary Health clinics or during on-site flu clinics.
Information taken from The Centers for Disease Control. www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/general/no-excuses-flu-vaccine.pdf