Flu season is here and it’s time to get your influenza vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of people in this country get sick with flu every year, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and, unfortunately, tens of thousands die. The best way to help avoid getting influenza is to get vaccinated every year.
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of serious complications. Information on who is at risk is available here.
For most people — who need only one dose of flu vaccine — September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October.
Some children need two doses of flu vaccine. It is recommended they get the first dose as soon as the vaccine is available, because the second dose needs to be given at least four weeks after the first.
Flu vaccine is available now in many locations such as your doctor’s office, pharmacies and health departments. Find locations available in your area here. Your vaccine will help protect you throughout the 2023-2024 flu season.
HELP STOP THE FLU FROM SPREADING
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
Wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home if you’re sick.
More information about how to help keep you and your loved ones protected from the flu is available on this website and in the free Red Cross First Aid app. Find all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.