Who should get a flu shot?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a universal annual influenza vaccination for those 6 months or older.
Why do I need to get vaccinated against the flu every year?
It's important to get a flu shot every year because the strains are constantly changing.
Some seasons are milder than others because of the differing strains. It's important to vaccinate every year as immunity built up from having the flu caused by one virus strain doesn't always provide protection when a new strain is circulating.
A vaccine made against flu viruses circulating last year might not protect against the newer viruses.
That's why the influenza vaccine is updated to include current viruses every year.
In addition, research has shown that the body's immunity to influenza viruses declines over time.
What is the benefit from getting a flu shot?
Getting a flu shot lowers your risk of getting the flu virus. You can help prevent the spread of the virus to others, too.
When should you get the flu shot?
The CDC recommends getting a flu shot as soon as vaccinations are available. Normally, flu vaccinations begin in September and continue throughout the flu season.
While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, activity peaks in January or later most of the time.