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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Visit the CDC website to learn more about Flu Shots

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Why should people get vaccinated against flu?

Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Every year millions of people suffer from the flu and hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized from flu-related causes.  An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children.

How do flu vaccines work?

Flu vaccines help the body to develop antibodies that protect individuals from infection from specific viruses. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Most flu vaccines in the United States protect against four different flu viruses (“quadrivalent”); an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and two influenza B viruses.

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CDC Influenza (Flu) 2019

Updated: 2019.  Number of pages: 2.

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every season with rare exception. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this recommendation since the 2010-11 influenza season.

Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu complications. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.

More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza.

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