Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2023-11-08T14:12:09-06:00
When is the best time to get my flu vaccine?2023-11-08T14:12:49-06:00

It’s best to be vaccinated before flu begins spreading in your community. September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated against flu. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October. However, even if you are not able to get vaccinated until November or later, vaccination is still recommended because flu most commonly peaks in February and significant activity can continue into May.

Additional considerations concerning the timing of vaccination for certain groups include:

  • Adults, especially those 65 years and older, should generally not get vaccinated early (in July or August) because protection may decrease over time, but early vaccination can be considered for any person who is unable to return at a later time to be vaccinated.
  • Some children need two doses of flu vaccine. For those children it is recommended to get the first dose as soon as vaccine is available, because the second dose needs to be given at least four weeks after the first. Vaccination during July and August also can be considered for children who need only one dose. Early vaccination can also be considered for people who are in the third trimester of pregnancy, because this can help protect their infants during the first months of life (when they are too young to be vaccinated).
Can I get a flu vaccine at the same time as other vaccines?2023-11-08T14:13:15-06:00

Yes. You can get a flu vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. For example, you can get a flu vaccine and an updated COVID-19 vaccine at the same time if you are due for both vaccines. Ask your provider if you are due for any other vaccines during your visit. Your provider will check your medical history to make sure you are up-to-date on all required vaccines and fully protected.

For more information about Concurrent Administration of Influenza Vaccine with Other Vaccines, click here.

If I’ve already had the flu and recovered, do I still need to get a flu vaccine?2023-11-07T18:07:22-06:00

You should get a flu shot even if you already had the flu. Getting a flu vaccine after you recover from being sick provides stronger, longer-lasting protection against the virus that causes flu.

Why do we have to get a flu shot every year?2023-11-02T12:05:08-05:00

The virus that causes flu is constantly changing, so each year a new flu vaccine is made to protect against the flu virus that is currently spreading.

Can I get a flu shot while I am currently sick with the flu?2023-10-23T13:32:38-05:00

If you are feeling sick, you should talk to your doctor about your symptoms before getting any vaccine.

Why do some people not feel well after getting a flu shot?2023-10-23T13:33:10-05:00

People usually experience mild side effects after getting a vaccine. 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. Side effects are common and typically go away within a few days. Even if you don’t experience side effects, your body is still building protection against the virus that causes flu.

Are there any risks in getting a flu vaccine?2023-11-02T12:10:09-05:00

Adults and children may experience some side effects from a flu vaccine, including pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, fever, or nausea. These side effects are a normal part of your body developing protection against the virus that causes flu. Serious side effects are extremely rare.

Can I get a flu vaccine while I am pregnant?2023-11-02T12:09:33-05:00

Yes. Flu vaccination during pregnancy helps protect pregnant people from flu during and after pregnancy and helps protect their infants from flu in their first few months of life.

    • 2013 study showed that during the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 flu seasons vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant people by about one-half.
    • 2018 study showed that getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant person’s risk of being hospitalized with flu by an average of 40% from 2010-2016.
    • Several studies have shown that in addition to helping to protect pregnant people from flu, a flu vaccine given during pregnancy helps protect the baby from flu for several months after birth, when babies are too young to be vaccinated.
Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over others?2023-11-02T12:03:39-05:00

Yes, for some people. There are 3 flu vaccines that are recommended for people 65 years and older. These are Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine or Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine. On June 22, 2022, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to preferentially recommend these vaccines over standard-dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines. This recommendation was based on a review of available studies which suggests that, in this age group, these vaccines are potentially more effective than standard dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines. There is no preferential recommendation for people younger than 65 years.

Last Reviewed: October 24, 2023

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