Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu vaccine.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) along with American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine unless you’re allergic to eggs, had an allergic reaction to the vaccine in the past, or have a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome. The vaccine is intended to protect against influenza.
Sometimes when people describe having “the flu” they describe vomiting and diarrhea, but influenza is a viral infection that mostly results in fevers, respiratory symptoms like cough, chest pain, severe fatigue and body aches.
The flu shot doesn’t prevent all cases of influenza.
But it has been shown to decrease the severity and duration of symptoms in those who do get it.
The shot is strongly recommended for pregnant women as symptoms can be especially severe during pregnancy, sometimes requiring hospitalization. You do not need a prescription for the shot and can get them at most pharmacies.
Here is more information on who should and who should not get the flu vaccine from the CDC:
Who should and who should not get a flu vaccine?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season with rare exception. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this recommendation since the 2010-2011 influenza season.
Vaccination to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. See People at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.
More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza.
Different influenza vaccines are approved for use in people in different age groups. In addition, some vaccines are not recommended for certain groups of people. Factors that can determine a person’s suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person’s age, health (current and past) and any allergies to flu vaccine or its components.
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