It's Time for Your Annual Flu Vaccine

November 7, 2023 in Blog Posts

Flu (influenza) season in the United States is between October and May. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months or older get vaccinated for the flu every year. This is the safest way to protect yourself, your family and your community from illness, hospitalization and death. The vaccination can reduce severity of flu illnesses, doctor’s visits and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from the flu, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

You need a flu vaccine every year for two reasons. First, because new flu strains develop each year. The vaccine created for this year’s flu season includes protection against the types of flu that are expected to be the most common. Second, immune protection declines over time, so a new vaccine is needed every year for optimal protection. Typically you should get your flu vaccine in October so that its protection lasts throughout the full flu season. If you are getting your COVID booster, it is fine to get them both at the same time, or separately.

The flu vaccine can:
• Prevent you from getting sick
• Lessen the severity of symptoms if you do get sick
• Prevent hospitalizations
• Protect people around you who are more vulnerable to flu illness

“Although the flu vaccine isn’t perfect, all evidence has demonstrated that it is the single best way to protect yourself from getting the flu,” says Dr. Miriam Alexander, medical director for employee health and wellness at LifeBridge Health. “And when you protect yourself, you are protecting all your loved ones from getting the flu from you!”

Getting a flu vaccine is safe and easy! Flu vaccines are widely available. You can talk to your doctor about getting your flu shot or visit your local pharmacy or urgent care center to get a quick and convenient appointment close to home.

If you do get the flu, remember:
• Limit contact with others
• Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
• Wash your hands often
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
• Keep surfaces disinfected

Together, we can keep each other safe and healthy this flu season!