Why Get Vaccinated?

Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease that spreads around the U.S. annually, usually between October and May. Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing and close contact. Anyone can get the flu. It strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms vary by age, but can include:

  • Fever/chills and sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Flu can also lead to pneumonia and blood infections. And can cause diarrhea and seizures in children. If you have a medical condition, such as heart or lung disease, flu can make it worse. Infants and young children, people age 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greater risk.

Each year thousands of people in the U.S. die from flu, and many more are hospitalized. Flu vaccine can:

  • Keep you from getting flu
  • Make flu less severe if you do get it
  • Keep you from spreading flu to your family and others

There are a small number of people for whom the flu vaccine isn’t recommended, depending on their medical history. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about whether you should receive the vaccine.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention