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The “flu shot” — an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm.

When to Get Vaccinated

Yearly flu vaccination should begin in September or as soon as vaccine is available and continue throughout the influenza season, into December, January, and beyond. This is because the timing and duration of influenza seasons vary. While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or later.

Who Should Get Vaccinated

On February 24, 2010 vaccine experts voted that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year starting with the 2010-2011 influenza season. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the U.S. to expand protection against the flu to more people.

While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

Pregnant women

Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old

People 50 years of age and older

People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions

People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

Health care workers

Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu

Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

Ouita Davis

Registered Pharmacist & Certified Immunizer with Kroger Pharmacy

(919) 832-1803