It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week. Did You Get Your Flu Shot?

It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week, and the CDC wants to remind all of two things: the first is that it is not too late to protect yourself against the flu by getting vaccinated, and the second is that by getting the vaccine you will tame your flu illness and its symptoms from wild to mild. Here are the answers to our most asked flu vaccine questions.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

Everyone six months or older (with rare exceptions)!

  • High risk individuals
    • Children younger than 5, especially those under 2
    • Adults 65 and older
    • Adults with the following chronic health conditions:
      • Asthma
      • Heart Disease
      • Stroke
      • Diabetes
      • Chronic Kidney Disease
    • Pregnant women
    • Full list here
  • Rare exceptions
    • Children under six months of age
    • People with severe, life-threatening allergies to any ingredient in a vaccine (other than egg proteins), including gelatin and antibiotics
    • People who have had a severe allergic reaction to a dose of influenza vaccine should not get that flu vaccine again and might not be able to receive other influenza vaccines
  • Individuals who should consult their physician first
    • If you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome
    • If you had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of any other flu vaccine
    • If you are feeling sick, talk to your doctor about your symptoms

Does everyone get the same flu vaccine?

No. Different flu shots and nasal sprays are approved for people of different ages, and everyone should get a vaccine appropriate for their age and medical needs. Every vaccine is quadrivalent, which means it protects against four different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

  • Children 6 months to 17 years old
    • Flu Shot
      • The only option for children under 2 years old
      • Children receiving their first flu vaccine ever may need to have the flu shot administered in 2 doses four weeks apart
    • Nasal Spray
      • It can be given to most healthy children 2 years old and older
      • Check with your pediatrician first, as exceptions apply for children with certain conditions and/or medications

What possible side effects can I expect after I get my flu vaccine?

  • Flu Shot
    • Soreness, redness, or swelling at site shot was given
    • Low-grade fever
    • Muscle aches
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Fatigue
  • Nasal Spray
    • Runny nose
    • Wheezing
    • Headache
    • Vomiting
    • Muscle aches
    • Low-grade fever
    • Sore throat

Can I get my COVID-19 and/or RSV vaccine on the same day as my flu vaccine?

Yes! The CDC recommends that you get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines simultaneously; if you are over 65, you can get all three. However, if that sounds daunting and you want to break up the possible side effects and have access to transportation that will permit you to visit your physician or pharmacy more than once, you can space out your vaccines however you please; no waiting period is recommended between them. Children can also receive their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations at the same time.

Where can I get my flu vaccine?

  • Your physician
  • Local pharmacy
  • Clinic

How much does it cost?

  • Your shot is often fully covered by insurance, so be sure to check with your provider or pharmacy first
  • If you do not have insurance, you may easily qualify for a free shot at a pharmacy or clinic, contact us, and we will help you locate your vaccine free of charge

As the holiday season brings us closer to family and friends, it also increases the likelihood of coming into contact with more people and potential flu viruses. Safeguarding your well-being and that of your loved ones is crucial during these festive times, and by taking a simple yet effective step—getting your flu shot—you can transform the threat from wild to mild.

Don’t let the flu dampen your holiday spirit; contact us for support finding a vaccination site, understanding insurance coverage, and answering any other questions you may have.