In a bad flu season, as many as 52,000 people have died from flu.
Last flu season, people who got vaccinated were about 50% less likely to get the flu.
Last flu season, being vaccinated reduced the risk of hospitalization due to the flu by about 50%
Whether you've had a flu shot before or not, you might have questions about it.
We have the answers to your questions.
Flu shots cannot give you the flu, although some people may have mild side effects. Getting flu is usually much worse than the side effects a flu shot can cause.
Flu vaccines can cause side effects for some people. Most of the time these are mild and go away on their own in a short time. These can include: soreness or redness where the shot was given, a headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.
CDC recommends getting a flu shot every year because protection from the shot declines over time. Flu viruses are also constantly changing, so flu shots are updated each year to provide the best protection.
Yes, CDC studies show that a flu shot usually reduces the risk of getting sick with flu by between 40% and 60%. If you get a flu shot and do get sick with flu, being vaccinated can help make your illness less severe.
Flu season often starts in October and gets worse through the winter. It’s good to get a flu vaccine before the end of October. It takes about 2 weeks for protection from vaccination to start. Getting a flu vaccine at any time during flu season is better than not getting one at all.
While flu antivirals are the only drugs that are approved to treat flu illness, there many ways that people address flu symptoms if you do get sick. But it's better to avoid getting sick in the first place!
Getting a flu shot is the best way to avoid getting sick.
CDC and other health experts recommend that everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated against flu each year, with rare exception. Vaccination is particularly important for some groups who are more likely to get seriously ill with the flu. This includes pregnant people, young children, older adults and people with certain chronic medical conditions. People who have concerns about allergies should discuss a flu vaccine with their health care professional.
Flu shots are closely monitored by the FDA and CDC each year to ensure they are safe for the public.
Flu vaccines have a strong safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines for more than 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.
Most insurance plans cover flu vaccines at no cost to you. You can get vaccinated at your doctor’s office or find locations to get a flu shot at most pharmacies, county health departments and urgent care centers. If you don’t have insurance, you can still get a free or low-cost flu shot at your local community clinic or public health department.
CDC estimates that during the 2022-2023 season, flu vaccination prevented 6 million flu-related illnesses, 2.9 million flu-related medical visits, 65,000 flu-related hospitalizations, and 3,700 flu-related deaths.
People who get flu are usually sick for about a week. Being protected against flu and staying healthy means you can be there for loved ones who depend on you.
People with certain chronic conditions are at higher risk of getting very sick from flu, including being hospitalized or even dying. Getting a flu vaccine can reduce the risk of giving flu to people with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and sickle cell anemia.
A flu vaccine helps protect the people around you who are more likely to get very sick from flu, like babies, young children, pregnant people, and older adults.
There are many different flu vaccine options, including flu shots, a nasal spray vaccine, and special vaccines for people who are 65 years and older.