According to the CDC, the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.
Who should get a flu shot?
Beginning with the 2010-11 flu season, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that all people age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. The vaccination is especially important for people in high risk groups, including:
- Pregnant women
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
- Health care workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
Who should not get a flu shot?
- Anyone with severe allergy to chicken eggs
- Anyone who has had a severe reaction to a past flu vaccine
- Anyone with a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting a flu vaccine
- Children younger than 6 months
- Anyone currently suffering from moderate or severe illness with fever should wait until healthy to get a flu shot
How does the vaccine work?
Each year, a flu vaccine is developed based on recently circulating strains of the flu virus. When the vaccine is given, antibodies that provide protection against the flu develop in the body.
When should I get a flu shot?
October and November are the most effective months for vaccination. You can get vaccinated as early as September, and vaccines are generally available and of value until January or beyond.
For more information on the Flu, see the following websites:
American Lung Association Faces of Influenza Site
Center for Disease Control Flu Information
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