The seasonal flu is a serious disease that can cause mild-to-severe illness and life-threatening complications for people of all ages. In an average year, the seasonal flu causes 36,000 deaths and 226,000 hospitalizations throughout the United States.
Luckily, getting a flu vaccine can greatly reduce your chances of getting sick.
Since flu activity usually peaks between late December and March, the best time to get a flu vaccine is during October or November.
No. It takes about two weeks for the vaccination to provide protection against the flu virus. In the meantime you're still at risk, so get vaccinated early to protect yourself before flu season really gets started.
Yes. The vaccine's ability to protect you depends on your age, your overall health, and how closely the vaccine virus matches the flu virus in circulation.
If you get the flu vaccine and still get the flu, it will likely be a far milder case than you would've had otherwise.
The most common flu vaccine side effects are:
If these symptoms occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last one to two days.
No. The flu shot is made from dead viruses, and you can't get the flu from viruses that are no longer alive.
Yes. In fact, flu shots aren't just safe for pregnant women - they're highly recommended! Since you pass immunity on to your unborn baby, they'll also be protected from the flu during their first months of life.
There are risks associated with all vaccines, just as there are risks with taking any type of medication. In very rare cases, a vaccine may cause serious problems like a severe allergic reaction.
The risk of the flu vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small. Hardly anyone who gets the vaccine experiences serious problems.