Top things to know about the flu vaccine and 2017-18 flu season:


  • Everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually. Babies and young children (6 months to 8 years) may need 2 doses of the vaccine, given at least 4 weeks apart, depending on vaccination history.
  • Flu vaccine should be given to all women who are pregnant, considering pregnancy, in the postpartum period, or breastfeeding during the flu season.
  • Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. Flu vaccination can reduce these risks.
  • Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
  • Get your vaccine as soon as it becomes available, and ideally by the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu. Getting vaccinated later in the season (November-March) can still protect you because flu season often peaks after January and can last as late as May.
  • The flu shot doesn’t cause the flu.
  • Make sure others in your community get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of disease.
  • Flu vaccination also may make your flu illness milder if you do get sick.
  • A flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect against the flu.
  • Getting vaccinated also protects people around you.

Wondering where to go? Find information here:

Parents, find information here on where you can take your child to get vaccinated: