Family Wearing Masks with Bandaids on Arms
Nobody has time for the flu. Thankfully, there’s a simple, free or low-cost way to stay healthy this flu season. Protect yourself and your loved ones from flu by getting a flu shot.
Why It's Important
Millions of Americans get sick with the flu every season. Getting a flu shot protects you, your loved ones, and your community from the flu.
45 million
As many as 45 million Americans get sick with the flu each season.
26 million
Up to 26 million medical visits each season are because of the flu.
As many as 810,000 people are hospitalized with the flu each season.

This season it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot. We need to prevent the flu, save medical resources, and protect health workers caring for people with COVID-19. If you've never gotten a flu shot before, this is the year to start, especially with COVID-19 spreading.

Learn more about Flu and COVID-19 ↗

Reasons to Get a Flu Shot This Season
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Keep yourself from getting sick
Flu vaccines prevent millions of people from getting the flu every season. During the 2019-2020 flu season, flu vaccines prevented an estimated 8.7 million people from getting the flu, 105,000 flu-related hospitalizations, and 6,300 flu-related deaths.
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Save medical resources
During the 2019-2020 flu season, the flu caused an estimated 18 million medical visits. Getting a flu vaccine can help to reduce the burden on doctors and nurses as they fight COVID-19. Last season, flu vaccines prevented 3.7 million medical visits.
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Protect your loved ones
A flu vaccine helps protect the people around you who are more likely to get very sick from the flu, like babies, young children, pregnant women and older adults.
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Protect people with diabetes and heart disease
People with certain chronic conditions are at high risk of getting very sick from flu including being hospitalized or even dying. Getting a flu vaccine reduces the risk of giving the flu to people with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and sickle cell anemia.
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Save time
Getting a flu vaccine can prevent you from getting sick with flu. People who get the flu are usually sick for about a week. Staying healthy means you can be there for your loved ones who depend on you.
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Reduce severity of illness
You may still get the flu if you get a flu vaccine, but you won’t get as sick. Flu vaccines have been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
Flu Facts
Flu vaccines cannot give you the flu. Most people who get a flu vaccine have no side effects. Some people report having a sore arm from a shot for a day or two.
CDC studies show that a flu shot usually reduces the risk of getting sick with the flu by between 40% and 60%.

Most flu vaccines in the United States protect against four flu viruses: H1N1, H3N2, and two influenza B viruses.
Almost everyone 6 months old and older should get a flu shot, especially pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with certain chronic medical conditions.
A flu vaccine is needed every flu season. Protection from the vaccine declines over time. Also, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines are updated each year to provide the best protection.
There is no evidence that getting a flu vaccine increases your risk of getting COVID-19. Getting a flu vaccine reduces your risk of getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time by protecting you from flu.
Flu season usually starts in October and gets worse in winter. It’s good to get a flu vaccine by the end of October because it takes about 2 weeks for protection to start. Getting a flu vaccine at any time of the season is better than not getting one at all.

Get a Flu Shot

There are many different flu vaccine options, including flu shots, a nasal spray vaccine and vaccines for people who are 65 years and older.

Most insurance plans cover flu vaccines at no or low cost to you.

You can get your flu shot at:

- Grocery Stores
- Pharmacies
- County Health Departments
- Primary Care Doctors
- 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.

Concerned about getting your flu shot because of COVID-19? Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend ways you can safely be vaccinated during this time.

Visit VaccineFinder to find a flu vaccine near you.