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Who should get the flu shot?
Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu shot every year, with very few exceptions.
When is the best time to get the flu shot?
The best time to get the flu shot is late September through October—early enough that your body has time to develop antibodies before the flu season begins, and late enough that you’re protected through the end of the flu season. While it’s best to be vaccinated in early fall, it’s still worthwhile to receive a vaccine later in the year or even in early 2023 to protect yourself.
When and where can I get the flu shot?
To get your flu shot, please schedule an appointment with your primary care provider through MyHealth.
Do I need to be an existing patient at Stanford Health Care to get the flu shot at a Stanford Health Care facility?
You can still get the flu vaccine at Stanford Health Care, even if you are not a patient, at a cost—depending on your health plan coverage. To do so, you’ll need to create a MyHealth account and make an appointment from there.
Will my insurance cover the flu vaccine?
Contact your insurance provider to determine whether it covers the vaccine. Most insurance plans do.
Is the flu vaccine safe?
Serious reactions to the flu vaccines are extremely rare. You are more likely to have severe complications from the flu than from a vaccine.
Can I get the flu shot if I have an egg allergy?
Yes. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with egg-allergy may receive any flu vaccine (egg-based or non-egg based) that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health status. Additional safety measures are no longer recommended for flu vaccination beyond those recommended for receipt of any vaccine.
Why do I need to get the flu shot every year?
The flu vaccine’s protection lasts only about six months, which is the typical length of the flu season. Also, influenza strains are constantly changing, so each year’s flu vaccine is developed to target the strains most likely to circulate during the upcoming flu season.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
The vaccine’s effectiveness varies each year, but generally the flu vaccine will reduce your risk of getting the flu by about 50%. However, if you get sick, you’re likely to have a milder case if you have received the flu shot. In addition, getting the flu shot will help reduce the spread of influenza in your community.
If I’m feeling sick, should I wait to get my flu vaccine?
If you have a cold or other mild illness, it’s safe to receive the flu shot. If you have a more serious illness, with a fever, you may need to wait. Check with your care provider if you’re scheduled to receive a flu shot and don’t feel well.
What are some side effects of the flu shot?
A day or two after receiving the flu shot, you may develop muscle aches, soreness at the shot site, headache, nausea, and rarely, a fever. Severe allergic reactions are rare. They include difficulty breathing, hives, a rapid heartbeat, weakness, and swelling around the eyes or lips. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency care.
Can I get the flu shot and the latest COVID-19 booster at the same time?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine may be given at the same time.
Can I get the flu shot and the monkeypox vaccine at the same time?
Yes, you can receive the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine at the same time as the flu vaccine.
Can I get the flu shot and the RSV vaccine at the same time?
Yes, the RSV vaccine and flu vaccine may be given at the same time.
Can I get the seasonal flu and COVID-19 at the same time?
Yes, people can be infected with both the flu and COVID-19. A Stanford Medicine study found that 1 in 5 people who had COVID-19 were also infected with another respiratory virus.
Will the flu shot protect me against COVID-19?
The flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19. However, the flu can be serious. It sends an average of 200,000 people to the hospital annually and has killed between 12,000 and 61,000 people each year on average since 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With the COVID-19 pandemic predicted to worsen in the fall and winter, hospitals may be overwhelmed, so it’s important everyone is protected against the flu.
Who is eligible to receive the nasal spray flu vaccine?
Healthy people ages 2 – 49 who are not pregnant may receive the vaccination through nasal spray. Check with your care provider if you’re unsure whether you qualify.
What can I do to avoid getting the flu and COVID-19?
The steps you can take to protect yourself against COVID-19 and the flu are the same:
Stay away from people who are sick.
Wear a mask in public.
Wash your hands frequently.
Avoid touching your eyes and nose.
Stay healthy by eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising.
New COVID-19 and RSV vaccines coming soon: New COVID-19 vaccines are coming early October. In the meantime, we highly recommend that you get the flu vaccine now to help keep you and your family safe.