Get Ready For Flu Season!
One of the best ways you can protect your health is by getting the annual flu shot.
Typical flu symptoms include fever, body aches, stuffy nose and fatigue, but the flu can also result in more severe health complications, particularly in young children and adults age 65 and older. That’s why everyone age 6 months and older should get the flu shot with rare exceptions.
If your child is younger than age 9 and hasn't had the flu vaccine before, they should receive two doses given at least four weeks apart. If your child is older than age 9 or has had the flu vaccine before, one dose is enough.
For adults age 65 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an enhanced vaccine like FLUAD®. This adjuvanted vaccine provides greater protection by creating a stronger immune response in the body.
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.
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
- High fever lasting three to five days
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Severe aches and pains
- Occasional sneezing
- Sore throat
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.
- 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.