It may seem early, but NOW is the time to make a plan for flu vaccination. While there are still concerns about the spread of COVID-19, we also need to prepare for the arrival of seasonal flu – another potentially deadly virus.
Here are some tips to make sure you plan for your entire family to get vaccinated.
Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone, every year.
Flu vaccination starts at 6 months old and every year after that.
Children under 9-years-old who are receiving their first-ever flu vaccine need two doses spaced out by one month.
While everyone needs a flu vaccine every year, there are different types for different people. For example, a child may prefer a needle-free option and there are specific flu vaccines for people who are age 65 and older.
Influenza or “flu” is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs) that can cause mild to severe illness, and can result in complications that can lead to hospitalization or death.
Flu vaccines have been used since 1945 with very good safety records. Vaccines go through years of research and clinical trials before they are made available to the general public.
You cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine – to cause infection, flu viruses need to reproduce, i.e., make copies of themselves. Flu vaccines do not contain viruses that can reproduce and make you sick with the flu.
Flu vaccines are available in the fall at your healthcare professional’s office or your local pharmacy.
If you need help finding a place to get a flu vaccine, or if you’re looking for a specific type (like the nasal mist, egg-free, etc), check out the Vaccine Finder.
CDC recommends that people get their annual flu vaccine by the end of October.
It’s still beneficial to get vaccinated after October and during the flu season.
Receiving the flu vaccine after October (even as late as January) is still better than not receiving one at all. Flu infections and hospitalizations tend to peak in February each year. While getting vaccinated early (September) is ideal, getting vaccinated later in the season is still advisable
It’s not “just” the flu – it’s a serious, but preventable, disease!
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