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Doctor administering flu shot into arm of masked patient

Who Should Get the Flu Shot?

Many people get the flu each year. However, there are several methods to prevent the spread of the flu and reduce possible symptoms and hospitalization risks if you do get it. What is the best method? Getting a flu shot! Getting a flu shot is a low-cost, low-effort and relatively painless way to reduce your risk of getting the flu and the risk of those around you. But you might ask, who should get the flu shot? Does everyone need to? What if I'm healthy and not at risk of serious complications? The answer to that question is yes—everyone from ages six months and up should get the flu shot every year even if you're healthy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all people six months and older should get the flu vaccine shot every year. This includes children, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions.1

There are some groups of people who should talk to their doctor first before getting a flu shot, although they still might be able to get one. These include but are not limited to people with allergies to eggs or other vaccine ingredients, people who have had or have Guillain-Barre Syndrome(GBS), or people who are feeling ill.1

Who Should Not Get the Flu Shot?

 

There are a few exceptions that include people who should NOT get the flu shot. According to the CDC, infants younger than six months old should not get the flu shot. Another group of people who should not get the flu shot is anyone who has a severe, life-threatening allergy to an ingredient in the flu vaccine, including items like gelatin, antibiotics or others.1 Get these allergies confirmed by a doctor and ask them if there are any other vaccine options available to you. 

 

Importance of Getting a Flu Shot

The most obvious reason getting a flu shot is important is that it reduces flu-related illness and the risk of serious flu complications.2

When deciding who should get a flu shot, it's also vital to recognize that some people are more at risk for getting the flu and developing complications from the flu. Young children, adults 65 and over, pregnant women, people with heart disease, people with asthma, people with cancer and others are all at a high risk for flu complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Flu complications include worsening of pre-existing symptoms, as well as getting pneumonia, bronchitis or sinus infections.3 Some of these flu complications can lead to hospitalization and even death in some cases.

It's important that vulnerable individuals get flu shots, but it's also important that healthy individuals do as well. Some pre-existing conditions such as allergies, age and immune system issues mentioned above can prevent vulnerable people from getting a flu shot. The best way you can protect those around you is to get the flu shot to reduce the risk of spreading it to them. Learn more about flu symptoms, treatment and more in our Theraflu Power Living resource center. 

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