Flu Season is Here
Everyone is at risk for flu, even healthy people. But YOU HAVE THE POWER to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious illness, hospitalization and even death due to flu. Get yourself and your family members (6 months and older) vaccinated against flu every year.
September and October are good months to get your flu vaccine. Make sure you are vaccinated at least 2 weeks before flu is spreading in your community.
Most people only need one dose of flu vaccine for protection during the season, but some young children between 6 months and 8 years old need two doses of flu vaccine for the best protection against serious flu illness. If your child is recommended to get two doses, it is best to get them their first vaccination as soon as possible so they will be fully protected before flu is spreading. Talk to your doctor to find out if your child needs more than 1 dose.
Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
The flu vaccine is the best tool we have to prevent serious illness and flu-related complications like hospitalization and death.
The flu vaccine:
- Helps keep you from getting sick with flu.
- Reduces the severity of your flu illness even if you do get the flu.
- Helps protect you and people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
- Can be lifesaving in children.
In addition to getting a flu vaccine every year, it is also important to be up to date with COVID vaccine and possibly (depending on your age and health), an RSV immunization.
And yes, its safe to get your flu and COVID vaccines at the same time.
2023-24 Flu Season
The Symptoms of Flu
Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever/feeling feverish or chills (Not everyone with flu will have a fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea (More common in children than adults)
Not sure if it is a cold or flu? Click here.
Click here to view the similarities and differences between flu and COVID.
Get Your Flu Vaccine Every Year
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. It takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to start providing protection against serious flu illness.
Everyone is at risk of getting sick with the flu, but some people are at even higher risk of serious flu illness, hospitalization and even death. Those include:
- Adults 65 years and older
- Young children
- Even though all children younger than 5 are at higher risk of serious flu complications, the highest risk is for children younger than 2 years old. with the highest hospitalization and death rates among infants under 6 months old.
- Pregnant people and people up to 2 weeks after pregnancy
- Changes to the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy cause these people to be at a higher risk of serious flu complications. Flu may also be harmful for their developing baby.
- People of all ages with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease and sickle cell
- People with weakened immune systems due to disease (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or some cancers like leukemia) or disease treatments (such as people getting chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, or people on corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress their immune system)
Getting vaccinated also helps protect others you come into contact with, like family members, friends, co-workers, and community members.
Flu and Flu Vaccine Resources
- Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2023–24 Influenza Season
- Updates to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Flu Vaccine Recommendations for the 2023-2024 season
- Live Intranasal Flu Vaccine (Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine) Information Statement (CDC)
- Inactivated Flu Vaccine (Flu Shot) Information Statement (CDC)
- Inequities Found in Flu Vaccine Uptake (CDC Media Statement)
- Family Stories (Families Fighting Flu)
- Flu Champion Toolkits (Families Fighting Flu)
- Key Facts About Seasonal Flu (CDC)
- Flu Vaccine Safety: Info for Patients and HCPs (CDC)
- Flu Info and Resources for Schools & Childcare Providers (CDC)
- Flu Vaccine and Pregnancy FAQs (ACOG)
- Guidance for Planning Vaccination Clinics (CDC)
- Influenza: What You Should Know Fact Sheet (CHOP Vaccine Education Center)
- Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance (CDC’s FluView)