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What are the facts about the Flu shot?

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

How do flu vaccines work?

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.

flu vaccine shot

When should I get vaccinated?

You should get a flu vaccine now if you haven’t gotten one already this season. It’s best to get vaccinated before flu begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.

Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.


During the 2016–2017 flu season, vaccinations prevented approximately 5.29 million illnesses, 2.64 million medical visits, and 84,700 hospitalizations.

– CDC, April 19, 2018

Who Should get the Flu shot?

The Flu shot is for everyone in the family except babies under 6 months of age. Those that are especially at risk of developing health problems from the flu include the following;

· All kids 6 months through 4 years old (babies younger than 6 months are also considered high risk, but they cannot receive the flu vaccine)

· Anyone 65 years and older

· All women who are pregnant, are considering pregnancy, have recently given birth, or are breastfeeding during flu season

· Anyone whose immune system is weakened from medications of illnesses (like HIV infection)

· Residents of long term care facilities

· Anyone (adults, teens, and kids) with a chronic medical condition, such as asthma

· Kids or teens who take aspirin regularly and are at risk for developing Reye syndrome if they get flu

· Caregivers or household contacts of anyone in a high-risk group (like children younger than 5 years old, especially those younger than 6 months, and those with high-risk conditions)

· Native Americans and Alaskan Natives

Certain things might prevent an individual from getting the flu shot. Talk to your doctor to see if it is still recommended if your child;

· Has ever had a severe reaction to a flu shot

· Has Guillain-Barre syndrome (a rare condition that affects the immune system and nerves)


Practice Prevention

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