Fight the Flu: Get Vaccinated

The seasonal flu shot is a yearly vaccine that protects against influenza, a respiratory viral infection. With both the flu and COVID-19 circulating concurrently this fall and winter, it is important to get a flu shot to reduce your risk of catching the flu. Vaccinations also reduce a potential burden on the healthcare system as medical providers are responding to the needs of COVID-19 patients.

When Should I Get the Flu Shot?

Ideally, you should get a flu vaccine by the end of October; however, you can receive the flu vaccination throughout the flu season, even into January. It is especially important for pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions to get a flu shot.

Who Should Get the Flu Shot?

The annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of six months, with very few exceptions. 

What Types of Flu Shots Are Available?

There are several types of flu vaccines available this season that have been produced to protect against three (trivalent) or four (quadrivalent) different seasonal influenza viruses.  Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages, and everyone should get the vaccine that is appropriate for their age.

  • Standard Dose (SD) - Standard dose flu shots are made from inactivated virus grown in eggs. Most people, even those with an egg allergy, can get a standard flu shot.

  • High Dose (HD) - Shots made with a high dose of inactivated virus (four times higher) are for people 65 years of age and older.

  • Shots made with a virus grown in a culture instead of with eggs are appropriate for someone with a severe egg allergy.

  • Shots made using vaccine production technology (recombinant) that does not require the use of flu virus or eggs are approved for people 18 years of age and older.

  • Nasal spray vaccine utilizes live attenuated influenza vaccine which is made with weakened influenza viruses. This is an option for individuals age two through 49 years of age. This is not for pregnant women.

What are the Side Effects of the Flu Shot?

Common side effects from the flu shot include:

  • Soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot

  • Headache

  • Fever

  • Nausea

  • Muscle aches

Can I Get the Flu from the Flu Vaccine?

No, the flu vaccine cannot cause flu. The vaccines either contain inactivated virus, meaning the viruses are no longer infectious, or a particle designed to look like a flu virus to your immune system. While the nasal spray flu vaccine does contain a live virus, the viruses are changed so that they cannot give you the flu.

Schedule Your Flu Shot Today

Please call your primary care provider to get your flu shot scheduled. Don't have a primary care provider? Find a primary care provider.