Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine This Fall?

Every fall, your doctor or pharmacist probably asks you if you want a flu shot. This important vaccination can prevent you from getting the flu. Learn more about who should get a flu shot as you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

What is the Flu Vaccine?

The flu vaccine is an injection that contains inactivated flu virus. Once it’s in your body, it takes two weeks to build antibodies that help you fight the flu virus and stay healthy during the fall and winter flu season.

What Does the Flu Shot Protect Against?

Influenza is a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, including hospitalization or death. This year’s flu shot protects against the H1N1 flu virus and two additional flu strains. Adults over the age of 65 may also request a vaccine that protects against four additional flu virus strains.

Why do you Need an Annual Vaccination?

You want to protect yourself every year with a new vaccination. Flu viruses change quickly, and this year’s strain may be different than last year’s strain. Plus, flu antibodies decrease over time, leaving you vulnerable to the flu.

Where is the Flu Vaccine Available?

You can get a flu shot in several convenient locations. Schedule an appointment with your physician or visit your pharmacy, a health clinic, an urgent care center or a college health center. You can even ask your employer about getting a flu shot at work. In many cases, the vaccine is covered by your health insurance.

Who Should get a Flu Shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases flu shot recommendations every fall. This year, it recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of six months.

The vaccine is especially important for people who are vulnerable to flu complications.  These people include pregnant women, older adults and young children as well as anyone with the following chronic medical conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Obesity

Also, remember that the flu vaccine protects others. When you protect yourself from getting sick, you don’t share germs with others, and everyone stays healthy.

Should Anyone not get a Flu Shot?

In certain situations, you may choose not to get the flu vaccine. Discuss the flu vaccine with your doctor if you have a severe egg allergy or reacted severely to a previous vaccine.

Now that you know more about who needs a flu vaccine, you’re prepared to make an informative decision when your doctor or pharmacist asks you this year if you want a flu shot.
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