Flu Vaccine

There are still some myths about the flu vaccine, and people often have concerns and questions. We've got answers to those common questions, and hope these facts help you to make an informed choice about getting the flu shot.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to reduce your risk of getting the flu. And when more people get vaccinated against the flu, the less it will spread throughout the community, to your family and to your loved ones.

How can I learn more?


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a patient information sheet. You should talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

You can also read more about the flu shot from the CDC.

CDC Patient Info

Frequently Asked Questions about the Flu Shot

What is the flu?

Influenza ("flu") can be serious and sometimes deadly. The flu is a disease that spreads every year, usually between August and May. Flu is caused by viruses, which spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact. 

Anyone can get the flu. The flu can happen quickly and can last many days. The flu can cause fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose and make you tired.

How common is the flu?

Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are over 50 million cases of flu.

Who should get the flu shot?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu shot every year. The flu shot is especially helpful for kids younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and those with chronic medical conditions.

Why do I need a flu shot each year?

Each flu season is different so there is a new flu shot each year (around the fall season) that helps protect you and others against the flu.

When should I get the flu shot?

The best time to get the flu shot is before the flu season begins, usually in August. You can also get your flu shot later in the season.

Where can I get my flu shot?

You can get your flu shot at your local pharmacy or your doctor's office. 

Use our Find a Pharmacy tool to find a local pharmacy near you. Call your pharmacy directly for more information.

How much does the flu shot cost?

There is no co-pay for the flu shot if you get your flu shot at your local pharmacy. If you get your shot at your doctor's office, you may have a co-pay for the office visit.

How well does the flu shot work?

The flu shot works well, but cannot prevent all cases. If the shot is a good match to the viruses going around, it may prevent you from getting the flu.

If you do get the flu, symptoms should be milder and should not last as long.

How safe is the flu shot? Can I get flu from flu shot?

Millions of Americans have safely received the flu shot over the last 50 years and there are many studies showing that the flu shot is safe.

The flu shot cannot cause flu because the viruses in the shot are either not alive or are changed so they cannot give you the flu.

What are possible side effects of the flu shot?

Side effects are not common, but the shot can cause soreness, redness, and/or swelling. It can also cause headache, fever, muscle ache, nausea, or fainting.

Who should not get the flu shot?

Children younger than 6 months and people who have severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu shot or any ingredient in the shot should not get the flu shot. People who have had Guillain-Barre syndrome should also not get the flu shot.

If you are not feeling well, it is recommended to wait until you are better before getting the flu shot. People with egg allergies are still recommended to get the flu shot, but talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your allergy.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Flu Shot and COVID-19

What are the benefits of the flu shot?

The flu shot can keep you from getting the seasonal flu. It can also help save time (less days missed from work or school) and money (less doctor visits, medicines, and hospital costs). And the flu shot can help protect the babies of women who got it while they were pregnant.

Does the flu shot increase your risk of getting COVID-19?

There is no evidence that getting a flu shot increases the risk of getting COVID-19.

There are many benefits from getting your flu shot and preventing flu, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Should I still get the flu shot during the COVID-19 pandemic?

It is important to get both influenza and pneumonia vaccinations, which will prevent you from developing serious respiratory complications.

Studies show that the flu vaccine decreases the chance of influenza and pneumonia, especially in people with diabetes.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of the flu (fever, cough, and fatigue).

Getting the flu vaccine will be useful in preventing the flu and reducing the possible confusion with COVID-19.