Are You Ready
For the Season?

Your favorite player's jersey? Check.
Giant "We're #1" finger? Check.
Pumpkin spice latte? Check.

You’re ALMOST ready for the season. So what’s missing?

It’s your flu shot!

Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to get vaccinated, so make sure the flu doesn’t sideline you or your loved ones this year!

Where to Go

Your Doctor's Office

Your primary care team knows you and your health better than any other health care option. They regularly handle vaccinations of all kinds, including the flu vaccine.

Urgent Care

Our convenient urgent care options take walk-ins and offer online options for scheduling a flu shot or viewing estimated wait times.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the flu?

Influenza (flu) is an easily spread respiratory tract infection caused by a virus. Vaccines are developed and administered each year to protect against the flu virus strains expected to cause the illness that year.

While often unpredictable, flu season can start as early as October. It most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February.

What are symptoms of the flu?

Each person may have different symptoms. The flu is a respiratory disease, but it can affect your whole body. People usually become very sick with several or all of these symptoms.

  • Cough, often becoming severe
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Fatigue for several weeks
  • Headache
  • High fever lasting three to five days
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Severe aches and pains
  • Occasional sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The symptoms of the flu may look like other health problems. Always talk with your health care provider for a diagnosis.

What causes the flu?

A virus causes the flu. Viruses are generally passed from person to person through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. The virus can also live for a short time on objects like doorknobs, pens, pencils, keyboards, phones, cups and eating utensils.

So, you can also get the flu by touching something that has been recently handled by someone infected with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Is the flu shot safe?

Yes. OSF HealthCare keeps a close watch on vaccine safety and guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hundreds of millions of flu vaccines have been safely given across the country for decades.

The CDC recommends getting the flu shot every year by the end of October. The shot takes one to two weeks to become effective.

Who should get the flu shot?

Everyone ages 6 months and older should get the flu shot with rare exception.

If your child hasn’t had the flu vaccine before and is younger than nine, he/she should receive two doses given at least four weeks apart. If your child is older than nine or has had the flu vaccine before, one dose is enough.

I got the flu shot last year. Do I need to get it again this year?

A flu vaccine is needed every year for two reasons. First, a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual flu vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the composition of flu vaccines is reviewed annually, and vaccines are updated to protect against the viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming flu season.

How long should I wait to receive the flu shot following a COVID-19 antibody treatment or vaccination?

There is no longer a recommendation to wait 90 days after receiving monoclonal antibody infusion or injection for COVID-19 before receiving the flu shot. You can get the flu shot at any time after these treatments once the acute symptoms have resolved. However, there is a requirement to wait 90 days after monoclonal antibody treatment before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Also, the time requirement between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines has been removed by the CDC. Other vaccines, like the flu shot, can be given the same day.