Flu season is underway, but it’s not too late to vaccinate! It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age or older receive a flu vaccination each year.
Getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Flu vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk for flu; many of whom are also at high risk for COVID-19 or serious outcomes.
This season, getting a flu vaccine has the added benefit of reducing the overall burden on the health care system and saving medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients.
The flu is a serious disease, especially for certain age groups and people with chronic health conditions, such as:
- Children younger than five, but especially younger than two years old
- Adults 65 years of age or older
- Women who are pregnant or just had a baby
- People with chronic health conditions
Learn more about people at high risk for flu complications.
The flu can cause mild or severe illness and can sometimes lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. Usually the flu starts suddenly. People with the flu sometimes feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish / chills (not everyone has this symptom)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than in adults.
Remember, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. Getting a flu shot is not only the single best way to protect yourself from getting sick, it’s also the best way to prevent the spread of flu to others. The best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated every year.
To find out where to get a flu shot in your area, contact your local health department or use the vaccine finder. For more information, visit Influenza in Virginia, Vaccinate Virginia and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Protect Your Health web pages.