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When Should I Get My Flu Vaccine

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When Should You Get A Flu Shot

How often should my child get the flu shot?

While ideally, you should have gotten your flu shot by September or October, that sometimes doesn’t happen.

Why wait?

The early start to a flu season might catch you by surprise so that you simply didn’t have time to get your kids their flu vaccine. Others might wait, thinking they didn’t need one, but then became concerned about the reports of how bad flu season has been the last few years.

Of course, it is always better to get a flu shot much earlier so that you are protected for the full flu season.

How Much Does Getting A Flu Vaccine Cost

Most people can get a flu vaccine for little to no out-of-pocket cost. Medicare and most private health insurance plans will cover the cost of your flu vaccine. However, some insurance plans require that you receive your vaccine at a specific location. Check with your insurance company. If you do not have health insurance, contact your local or state health department.

Flu Isnt Just A Heavy Cold

Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why its sometimes called seasonal flu. Its a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly. Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. A bad bout of flu can be much worse than a heavy cold.

The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Healthy individuals usually recover within 2 to 7 days, but for some the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.

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How Does The Flu Shot Protect You

The flu shot prompts your immune system to produce antibodies against a specific strain of the flu. If youre exposed to this particular flu virus later, youll already have antibodies ready to fight off the virus.

It usually takes about 2 weeks to build up your immunity to a flu virus after youve been vaccinated against it.

Youll have the most antibodies 1 to 2 months later. After this time, your protection begins to decline. Thats why you need a flu shot every year.

Each years vaccine is based on which strains are most likely to spread during that flu season.

The vaccine wont protect you from every strain. But if you do get sick, itll likely be less severe due to the vaccine.

The 2020-21 flu season may be complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The overlap of these two viral illnesses threatens to overburden hospitals, which typically get an influx of patients who have complications from the seasonal flu.

Getting your flu shot can help lower your risk of flu complications that could put you in the hospital.

Most people have little to no reaction following the vaccine. Theres no live virus in the flu shot, so it cant give you the flu.

Some people have a temporary reaction at the injection site, such as:

Normally, you can get a flu vaccine at your doctors office, your local pharmacy, or even at a walk-in retail clinic.

Some employers even provide flu shots for their employees at their workplace.

Where Can I Get A Flu Vaccine

Now Is the Time to Get Your Flu Shot

Flu vaccines are offered in many doctors offices and clinics. Even if you dont have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, college health center, and even in some schools and workplaces.

To find a flu vaccine near you, please visit

Alternatively, Texans can call 2-1-1 or visit to find information on vaccine availability from local public health departments and other nearby non-profit organizations.

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Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine This Season

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza. A full listing of people at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications is available.

Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, visits to doctors offices, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as make symptoms less severe and reduce flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different age groups.

There are many vaccine options to choose from.

The most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year.

If you have questions about which flu vaccine to get, talk to your doctor or other health care professional. More information is available at Who Should and Who Should NOT Get a Flu Vaccine.

What Are The Side Effects Of Flu Vaccines

The flu vaccine is safe and cannot give you the flu. Most people have no problems after getting a flu vaccine.

When side effects occur, they are generally mild and go away on their own. The most common side effects are soreness, redness, or swelling at the site where you got the shot. Some people also get a headache, fever, nausea, or muscle aches. These side effects start shortly after getting the vaccine and can last up to two days. They typically do not get in the way of daily activities.

If you have allergies, talk with a health care provider about your options for flu vaccines. Even people with mild egg allergies can safely get most flu vaccines. Egg-free flu vaccines are also available. You should not get vaccinated if you have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past.

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Vaccines That All Adults Over 65 Should Get

Vaccines are preparations that give you immunity to a specific disease. According to Centricity Research, vaccines are usually made from a weakened or inactivated form of the microbe that causes the disease, or a piece of the microbe’s genetic material.

When a vaccine is administered, it stimulates a person’s immune system to recognize and fight the microbe if the person is later exposed to it without causing the person to become sick with the disease this is known as “immunization” .

Vaccines are one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and have greatly reduced the incidence of many deadly diseases throughout history. They are particularly important for older adults as they are at a higher risk of severe illness and death from many infectious diseases like flu and pneumonia.

The immune system naturally weakens with age, making older adults more susceptible to infections and less able to fight off disease . Vaccines can also help older adults maintain their independence and ability to function and avoid hospitalization.

Whats The Risk From A Second Bout Of The Flu

What You Should Know About The Flu Vaccine | CVS

Although its still important to get vaccinated even if youve had a case of the flu already, catching one strain of it does give you some limited protection against other strains. Its the kind of protection that might, for example, limit the severity of illness if you do get the flu a second time.

Theres some cross-reactivity and cross-immunity, but its not the kind of immunity that would prevent you from getting infected, Topham says.

The overall risk of catching the flu a second time is probably low. A study out earlier this year in the journal Epidemiology & Infection, which examined flu surveillance data in Queensland, Australia from 2005 to 2017, found that the phenomenon was quite rare.

Most of these cases involved someone getting a case of flu A and then later a case of flu B . Rarer were cases in which people got two different strains of flu A .

So far this flu season in the U.S., most samples tested for their strain have been flu A H3N2, according to the CDC. But different flu types and strains can rise and fall throughout a season, so more flu B could be on its way. And the Queensland study suggests that if a flu B wave is coming, it might increase the risk of reinfection.

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Why Do Some People Not Feel Well After Getting A Flu Shot

Flu vaccine side effects are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days. Some side effects that may occur from a flu shot include soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given, headache , fever, nausea, muscle aches, and fatigue. The flu shot, like other injections, can occasionally cause fainting.

Find A Flu Shot Location Near You

If you have a UnitedHealthcare health plan, you can get a flu shot at more than 50,000 locations.

To find a flu shot location using the map, enter your ZIP code and select a pharmacy in your area, then select Find my flu shot to see results within a 20-mile radius from the center of your ZIP code.

Note: If you’re using a screen reader, use the list of Participating pharmacies, then select a pharmacy to find a location near you.

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What Should I Do If I Have Had A Serious Reaction To Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when you got the flu shot.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System form, or call VAERS at 1-800-822-7967. Reports are welcome from all concerned individuals: patients, parents, health care providers, pharmacists and vaccine manufacturers.

Can I Get The Flu From The Flu Vaccine

Should I Get the Flu Vaccine During the Covid Pandemic?

No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu shots are made with either a killed flu virus and are therefore not infectious, or with proteins from a flu virus instead of a flu vaccine virus. Nasal spray flu vaccine is made with weakened live flu viruses, and also cannot cause flu illness.

Some people may get mild and short-lasting symptoms, such as a low-grade fever or muscle-aches, but this is a sign that your body is responding to the vaccine. It is not the flu.

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Can I Get A Flu Vaccine At The Same Time As My Booster

Yes, according to the CDC. There’s no recommended waiting period between the seasonal flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccines.

So far, the current flu season has been the most severe since the 2010-2011 flu season.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Myth #: You Can Get The Flu From The Flu Shot And Other Flu Vaccines

Fact: Many people have questions about the flu shot. Can you get the flu from the flu shot? Can the flu shot make you sick? Is the flu shot a live virus? Can live virus vaccines give you the flu? The answer for all of these is a definite no.

Flu vaccines are made with either inactive virus or weakened virus . Neither can give you the flu, rather theyre designed to help your body know how to fight flu germs.

Both types of vaccines trigger your bodys immune response. Whether the vaccine contains inactive or weakened virus, your immune system recognizes it as an intruder and creates antibodies. This antibody creation is what can spur side effects, as well as get your body ready for a possible exposure to an active virus. And those side effects can easily be mistaken for early flu-like symptoms but its really just a sign that the vaccine is working.

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Can I Get A Flu Shot And Covid

You can get a flu vaccine and a Covid-19 vaccine at the same time, the CDC and other experts have said, which wasnt the case last year. Whether this also goes for third doses and booster shots of Covid-19 vaccines, too, hasnt been publicly addressed by the CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Cennimo said.

One reason why last year was different is because Covid-19 vaccines were only authorized in December, Wen said.

Also, they were being actively studied for side effects, Cennimo explained, and the guidance to separate COVID from any other vaccine by 14 days was issued to allow any adverse effects to be accurately attributed to the vaccine. If you gave two vaccines together, you wouldnt know which caused the problem.

The data have evolved, and the vaccines are incredibly safe, he added. This increased the comfort using them so we can give them with other vaccines now and not worry.

Whether getting both vaccines at the same time could cause worse symptoms depends on the person and how they tend to react to vaccinations, Wen said. People who might be particularly worried could choose to space out their vaccines, but know that thats not necessary to do, and thats really just based on your individual comfort.

What Protection Does A Flu Vaccine Provide If I Do Get Sick With Flu

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Some people who get vaccinated may still get sick. However, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick:

  • A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients.
  • Another study in 2018 showed that a vaccinated adult who was hospitalized with flu was 59% less likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit than someone who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.

In addition, its important to remember that flu vaccine protects against three or four different viruses and multiple viruses usually circulate during any one season. For these reasons, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older even if vaccine effectiveness against one or more viruses is reduced.

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Can You Get The Flu From The Flu Shot This Year Or Ever From Any Flu Vaccines

The flu shot is made from an inactivated virus, explains Katugaha. This inactivated virus cannot transmit infection. You cannot catch the flu from the flu vaccine. You are NOT contagious after a flu shot. The flu shot does not give you the flu it cannot, because the virus is not active. Therefore, you cannot be contagious, because youre not infected with a virus.

Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine

Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated for flu. It is especially important that the people in one of the groups listed below get a flu shot every year as they are more likely to get severely ill with flu.

People 65 years of age or older are recommended to receive the following three preferential flu vaccines: Fluzone High-DoseQuadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinantflu vaccine and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine. If none of these three preferred vaccines are available, any age-appropriate flu vaccine may be used. More information is available at Flu & People 65 Years and Older.

  • Children aged 6 months through 18 years
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • Pregnant and postpartum women
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, neurologic and neuromuscular conditions and weakened immune systems
  • People with muscle and nerve disorders that make it difficult to breath or swallow
  • Children aged 6 months through 18 years on long-term aspirin therapy
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities
  • Anyone who might transmit flu to someone at risk. For example, health care workers, including those in training, emergency response workers, direct care staff, people who live with or care for anyone on the list above, and people who live with or care for infants under 6 months of age, including parents, siblings, and daycare providers

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Flu Vaccine And Covid

Yes, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time if you are eligible and the timing coincides.

Even though both vaccines can be given at the same visit, people should follow the recommended schedule for either vaccine: If you havent gotten your currently recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine, get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can, and ideally get a flu vaccine by the end of October.

I Heard That The Flu Vaccine Was Not Very Effective Why Should I Get It If Its Not Effective

Information about seasonal flu

While vaccine effectiveness can vary, studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine. It is also the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness. Remember, if you dont get a vaccine at all, thats 0% effective.

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