Tips & Resources

There are different types of flu vaccine and ways administered to meet a variety of needs. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common. Experts do not give preference for one type of flu vaccine over another; what’s most important is that people receive the vaccine as soon as possible.

Three-component (trivalent)

  • Intramuscular (Flu Shot): Ages 6 months and older.
  • Recombinant that is egg-free: Ages 18 and older.
  • High Dose: A higher dose of antigen in the vaccine designed to give older people a better immune response and, therefore, better protection against the flu. Ages 65 and older.
  • Adjuvant: Creates a stronger immune response. Ages 65 and older.

Four-component (quadrivalent)

  • Intramuscular (Flu Shot): Ages 6 months and older.
  • Intradermal: Using a smaller needle, it is injected into the skin instead of the muscle. Ages 18-64.
  • Cell-based: Ages 4 and older.

Top things to know about the flu vaccine and 2017-18 flu season

  1. Everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually. Babies and young children (6 months to 8 years) may need 2 doses of the vaccine, given at least 4 weeks apart, depending on vaccination history.
  2. Flu vaccine should be given to all women who are pregnant, considering pregnancy, in the postpartum period, or breastfeeding during the flu season.
  3. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. Flu vaccination can reduce these risks.
  4. Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
  5. Get your vaccine as soon as it becomes available, and ideally by the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu. Getting vaccinated later in the season (November-March) can still protect you because flu season often peaks after January and can last as late as May.
  6. The flu shot doesn’t cause the flu.
  7. Make sure others in your community get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of disease.
  8. Flu vaccination also may make your flu illness milder if you do get sick.
  9. A flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect against the flu.
  10. Getting vaccinated also protects people around you.

You got the Flu – Now What?

1. Figure out if it’s influenza. Know the FACTS.

  • Fever
  • Aches (muscle/body/headaches)
  • Cough and/or sore throat
  • Tired/Fatigue
  • Sudden Onset

2. Consider whether you need to see a doctor

If you get the flu, antiviral drugs may be a treatment option. Check with your doctor promptly if you are at high risk of serious flu complications and you get flu symptoms.  People at high risk of flu complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. When used for treatment, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider.

3. Stay home
You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever reducing medicine.

4. Prevent the spread
Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a face mask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the crook of your elbow. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. A person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.



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