Clinical guidance

You’re due for a flu vaccine

Published January 1, 2022

Why should I get a flu vaccine?

Getting a flu vaccine every year is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with the flu.

The flu is an illness that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. Some people get a little sick from the flu, while others get really sick. Each year in the U.S., hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized with the flu and thousands of people die from the flu.

Because the flu spreads easily from person to person, getting a flu vaccine also helps prevent other people from becoming sick with the flu.

What do I need to know about the flu vaccine?

There are a few types of flu vaccines available for people younger than 65, and a few others recommended for people 65 years and older. All flu vaccines available are considered safe and effective. The flu vaccine is usually a single shot in the arm.

When should I get a flu vaccine?

For most adults, getting vaccinated against flu every September or October offers the best protection. Although the exact timing and duration of flu season varies each year, cases of the flu tend to rise at the end of October and peak around December to February.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine is widely available (you don’t even need a prescription or provider’s order). Your best bet is to get it at a pharmacy near you.

Are there any side effects to getting the flu vaccine?

Some people experience side effects, like a sore arm where the shot was given, feeling tired, feeling achy, and a headache. Any side effects are usually mild and temporary, especially when compared to symptoms of the flu.