The flu season has begun, and it is time to arrange for your flu shot. Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are not sure where to go, visit the Health Map Vaccine Finder. Just punch in your zip code and you will see a number of locations where the flu vaccine is offered.
Getting a yearly flu shot is particularly important for people who are likely to have complications if they do get the flu, reports the Mayo Clinic. This group includes:
- pregnant women
- older adults
- young children
Additionally, people with certain medical conditions have a higher risk of getting complications from the flu and should get the flu shot. These conditions include:
- cancer (The American Cancer Society recommends that people with cancer get the “inactivated” flu shot and not the nasal spray.)
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- cystic fibrosis
- kidney or liver disease
This year, there are several types of flu vaccines available. Some of the vaccines are made up of three flu viruses and are called trivalent. Other vaccines contain four different flu strains and are called quadrivalent. In addition, some vaccines are given by injections and one is available as a nasal spray.
The CDC does not recommend one type of flu vaccine over another. Contact your medical provider if you are unsure about whether you should get the flu vaccine or which vaccine to get.