Flu Vaccine

flu-prevention2.jpgThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that fewer than half of Americans got an influenza (flu) vaccine last season, and at least 410,000 people were hospitalized from flu.

Flu takes a heavy toll on Alabamians, with 257 non-pediatric influenza-associated deaths in 2018, 93 deaths in 2019, and 2 pediatric deaths reported in state residents in each of these years. Increased vaccination coverage would reduce that burden.

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 vaccinefinder.org.

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.
  • 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?

  • Everyone 6 months or older
  • High risk groups
    - Young children
    - Pregnant women
    - People with certain chronic health conditions
    - People 65 and older
  • Healthcare workers
  • Caregivers for people in high risk groups or for infants younger than 6 months old

Flu Vaccine and COVID-19

An 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.

Additional Resources

Page last updated: October 6, 2020