Frequently Asked Questions about Flu

Everyone age six months and older should get a flu vaccine every year.

This is especially important if you’re at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. These groups include:

  • Adults 65 and older
  • Adults with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease
  • Pregnant people
  • Children younger than five years old, and especially those younger than two years old.

Added December 14, 2023 

Flu vaccines are available throughout the fall and winter each flu season. You should get a flu vaccine as soon as possible if you’re not yet vaccinated.

Flu season starts in the fall, and most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and February. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated early in the season, ideally by October 31, but it’s never too late to get critical protection from the flu if you’re not yet vaccinated.

Added December 14, 2023 

Yes. Getting the flu vaccine reduces your chance of getting sick but it is still possible to catch the flu even if you’re vaccinated. If you’re vaccinated and still get the flu, you have a lower chance of getting seriously ill or needing hospitalization.

Added December 14, 2023 

Yes. It is safe to get your flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine the same day if you are eligible for both. It is safe and effective to receive multiple vaccines during the same appointment. 

Contact your healthcare provider to learn more about your options for receiving the flu and COVID-19 vaccines on the same day.

You can also see our Tough Q&A on COVID-19 + the Flu Vaccine for more information.

Updated December 14, 2023 

Flu, RSV, and COVID-19 are all respiratory illnesses that can have varying degrees of severity, ranging from no symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, and runny or stuffy nose can be similar across all three viruses. You need specific testing to confirm if you are sick. You can test for COVID-19 and flu yourself, with an at-home rapid antigen test, or through a healthcare visit. RSV tests are only administered during a healthcare visit. Contact your healthcare provider if you have questions about testing and treatment, especially if you or your child are at high risk for complications from flu, RSV, or COVID-19.

Updated December 14, 2023 

Messaging Resources about Flu

Toolkit: Flu Messaging and Resources

Misinformation Alerts about Flu

Story of teen’s 2013 death fuels anti-flu vaccine posts

A video of a teenager who died in 2013 allegedly after receiving a flu shot is recirculating among anti-vaccine accounts. The teen’s mother believes that the vaccine caused her son’s death, although no autopsy was performed. Recommendation: Medium Risk About Us The Public Health Communications Collaborative (PHCC) was developed in response to the urgent need

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Posts falsely blame pediatric flu deaths on COVID-19 vaccines

Several posters responded to news of young children dying from flu complications by baselessly claiming that the COVID-19 vaccines weakened the children’s immune systems. One post also blames masks and social distancing for the alleged “damaged immune systems.” Recommendation: Medium Risk About Us The Public Health Communications Collaborative (PHCC) was developed in response to the

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Woman claims flu shot caused multiple sclerosis and blindness

A story is circulating online of a woman who blames the flu vaccine after she allegedly lost vision in one eye and developed multiple sclerosis within weeks of receiving the shot. Recommendation: Medium Risk About Us The Public Health Communications Collaborative (PHCC) was developed in response to the urgent need for timely, relevant, and practical

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