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Flu Vaccine


Despite high levels of testing, flu activity was unusually low throughout the 2020-2021 flu season both in the United States and globally. Preventive actions for COVID-19 such as wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, and practicing social distancing likely contributed to the decline in 2020-2021 flu cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Additional factors include influenza vaccination, school closures, reduced travel, and increased ventilation of indoor spaces.

Flu usually takes a heavy toll on Alabamians, with 257 non-pediatric influenza-associated deaths in 2018, and 93 deaths in 2019. Each of those years also saw 2 pediatric influenza-associated deaths. Fewer cases from last season may make the coming flu season worse than normal. Some of the natural immunity that would be in the population from the previous season is not going to be in the population now.

If we continue to take preventive actions such as vaccination against COVID-19 and the flu, we can help stop the spread. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an annual flu shot. To find a local provider who offers adult flu vaccine, please visit Adult Immunization Providers. Contact your private physician, pharmacy, or local county health department for a flu clinic schedule or visit

Flu Vaccine Facts

  • It takes about 2 weeks for protection to develop after vaccination.
  • Influenza vaccine does not cause flu.
  • Influenza vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • With rare exceptions, everyone 6 months of age and older should get an annual flu vaccine by the end of October.

Flu Vaccine Benefits

  • Reduces risk of flu illness
  • Reduces visits to the doctor
  • Reduces hospitalizations and deaths related to flu illness

Who Should Get the Flu Vaccine?

Flu Vaccine and COVID-19

The influenza vaccination will not prevent COVID-19, but it is the best way to minimize the risk of flu. COVID-19 is caused by infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Flu and COVID-19 disease share many of the same symptoms --- fever, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue. These similarities may make illnesses more difficult to diagnose and treat. Getting a flu vaccine will reduce the chances of possible misdiagnosis and getting both diseases at the same time. It's safe to get the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.

Additional Resources

Page last updated: September 19, 2022