A new flu vaccine is made each fall
to protect against the flu viruses predicted to cause outbreaks during that flu season.
It's one of the best ways to protect yourself. Everyone ages 6 months and older should
get a flu shot each year. It's usually recommended for specific groups of people,
well as for anyone who doesn't want to get the flu. For the 2019-2020 influenza season,
the vaccine is available in different forms. The most common way to get the vaccine
by flu shot. A nasal spray is also available for healthy, non-pregnant people between
the ages of 2 and 49 years
The flu shot is safe. The CDC and
the FDA closely watch vaccine safety. Hundreds of millions of flu vaccines have been
safely given across the country for decades.
The flu shot can’t give you the
flu. But some of the side effects can be like the illness. The most common side effects
from a flu shot are:
- Low-grade fever
- Soreness where the shot was given
If you have them at all, these side
effects are usually mild and last a short time.
The effectiveness of the vaccine
varies from one person to another. It can depend on factors such as age and overall
The following may also be helpful
for preventing the flu:
- When possible, stay away from or limit
contact with sick people.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap
and water to reduce the risk of infection.
- Cover your nose and mouth when
coughing or sneezing to limit spread of the virus.
The flu causes complications that
may develop into a more serious disease or become dangerous to some people. This
includes older adults and those with chronic health problems. Always talk with your
healthcare provider to find out if you should get the flu shot.
Although the flu shot is safe, some
vaccinated. These include:
- People who have had a severe,
reaction in the past after getting
the flu shot
- Babies who are age 6 months old or
Talk with your healthcare provider before
getting a flu shot if:
- You are sick with a fever. Talk with your provider first. You
may be advised to wait till you recover to get the shot.
- Have had a severe paralyzing illness called Guillain-Barré
syndrome (GBS) after getting a flu shot in the past. Some people with a history of
GBS should not get a flu shot.
In the past, the flu vaccine was not recommended for people with egg
allergies. This is no longer the case. Talk with your healthcare provider about which
flu vaccine is right for you
The CDC recommends getting the flu
shot every year, as soon as it becomes available in your community. Flu season can
as early as October and most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February. But
seasons are unpredictable. The flu shot takes 1 to 2 weeks to become effective.
The CDC recommends that travelers
have the flu vaccine at least 2 weeks before planned travel to allow time to
develop immunity. Talk with your healthcare provider for more information.