You can help prevent the flu by getting a flu vaccine every year, as soon as it is available. The vaccine prevents most cases of the flu. But even when the vaccine doesn't prevent the flu, it can make symptoms less severe and reduce the chance of problems from the flu.
Flu viruses are always changing. Each year's flu vaccine is made to protect against viruses that are likely to cause disease that year. Ask your doctor whether or not a vaccine is safe for you and which one may be best for you.
Flu vaccines are made to work against more than one strain of flu. For example, a trivalent vaccine works against three strains, and a quadrivalent vaccine works against four strains of flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend one version over the other.
The vaccine is given as a shot.
Flu shots do not contain a live virus. They do not cause the flu. They are sometimes called "inactivated" or "recombinant" vaccines.
Not all locations that provide flu vaccines will have all the different types of shots.
Everyone age 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine each year, except for people with a fever or those who have had serious problems with vaccines in the past. The flu vaccine lowers the chance of getting and spreading the flu.
The flu vaccine is very important for people who are at high risk for getting other health problems from the flu. This includes:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofAugust 26, 2016
Current as of:
August 26, 2016
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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Last modified on: 8 September 2017