Get your flu shot by Halloween, ADPH advises


CONTACT: Wes Stubblefield, M.D., (256) 340-2113

Latest data reported to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) shows that influenza-like illnesses are increasing in most parts of the state. Six public health districts are seeing influenza-like illness activity at or above baseline levels, and 15 influenza or influenza-like outbreaks were reported during the past week.

To provide maximum protection through the winter months when influenza activity usually peaks, ADPH recommends everyone 6 months of age or older with rare exceptions get the flu vaccine before the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.

Flu vaccine is especially important for adults ages 65 and older, children under 5, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease. Flu shots can be given during the same visit as COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Some vaccine recommendations are as follows:

  • People 65 years and older account for the majority of flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. Changes in the immune system with age mean that older adults often do not have as strong an immune response to vaccination as younger, healthy people. New this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending three flu vaccines that are preferred for people ages 65 and older. These are Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent Recombinant flu vaccine, and Fluad Quadrivalent Adjuvanted flu vaccine. However, the standard-dose flu vaccine is still acceptable if the new shots are unavailable for older adults.
  • Annual influenza vaccination is especially important for people including healthcare workers and those who live with or care for persons at higher risk to protect these vulnerable populations. Children younger than 6 months can develop serious flu illness but are too young to be vaccinated, so people who care for infants need to be vaccinated to help protect themselves and the child.
  • Pregnant women are more susceptible to influenza severe enough to cause hospitalization and can be vaccinated during any trimester of pregnancy. Prenatal vaccination can help protect an infant after birth because antibodies are passed to a developing baby during pregnancy.

In addition to ADPH, the Alabama Hospital Association, the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama are encouraging Alabamians to get a flu shot with the ongoing No Time for Flu campaign. Information and additional resources to help stop the spread of the flu can be found on the No Time for Flu website at

Significant influenza activity is based on reported influenza-like illness data or reported influenza outbreaks for the week and positive influenza specimens from the previous three weeks. The latest Alabama influenza surveillance map can be viewed at Statewide influenza-like illness is at 4.09 percent, which represents an increase compared to last week. This percentage is above Alabama's 2022-2023 season baseline level of 3.27 percent.

To learn more about influenza prevention and for other helpful resources, go to

Please contact your healthcare provider, pharmacy or county health department for flu clinic schedules. Flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinic availability can be found by entering your zip code at



County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.