Your top questions answered
Just about everyone 6 months and older, most importantly those who are at high risk of developing complications if they get the flu, such as:
- Adults 65 years and older
- Adults with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease & stroke, diabetes, chronic kidney disease
- Children younger than two years old
- Pregnant women and women up to two weeks after the end of pregnancy
- Certain racial and ethnic minority groups, including non-Hispanic Black persons, Hispanic or Latino persons, and American Indian or Alaska Native persons
- People who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities
Visit the Centers For Disease Control for a complete list
Talk to your doctor before getting the flu shot if you or a family member have a health condition, most importantly any of the following:
- An allergy to eggs, or any other ingredient in the vaccine
- Have had Guillain-Barre syndrome in the past
- Are currently ill with a fever
- Suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19
- You should postpone vaccination until you have met the criteria to indicate you are no longer required to isolate. This will avoid exposing health care personnel and other patients to the COVID-19 virus.
Ideally before flu viruses begin spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to build up protection against flu, so the sooner you get your shot, the better. The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. But any time is better than not at all — the vaccination is usually offered throughout the flu season, which usually peaks between December and February, but can last all the way through May. It’s really never too late to get your shot!
The most common way to receive the vaccine is by getting a shot. The way you receive the vaccine and the dose you get will vary depending on what your provider recommends. Learn more on the CDC website and talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what’s right for you and your family.
Possibly. It’s not unusual for some children ages six months to eight years to require two doses. Learn more about whether your child needs more than one shot — and be sure to talk to your doctor before your child gets vaccinated.
If you experience symptoms like fever of 102 – 104°F, shortness of breath, muscle pain and body aches, contact your doctor for guidance. Even colds come with symptoms like chest congestion, coughing, and fever. When in doubt, contact your doctor. And in any case, it’s best to follow these safety guidelines for both flu and COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of flu and coronavirus to your family, friends or community.
Yes. And each can make the other worse. There is still much being learned about the risks of having both viruses at the same time, or how common this is. In the meantime, it makes good sense to get your flu shot and take extra precautions to prevent transmission. Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for support and help. The CDC also has helpful information about flu and coronavirus.
Seek prompt medical attention
If you’re pregnant or in a high-risk group, seek medical help right away if you’ve been exposed to the flu or have developed symptoms.
Call your doctor
Talk to them about treatment options, especially if you have a high risk of flu complications or are very sick. Your doctor may want to treat you over the phone so that you can stay home and avoid contact with others.
Wash your hands
A lot. With soap and water. If those aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Cover your mouth and nose
Every time you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue when doing so. Here’s a hack if you don’t have tissue: cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow to avoid spreading germs. And be sure to wear a mask.
Keep it clean
Sanitize commonly used surfaces and items that may be contaminated with flu germs, such as door knobs, remote controls, your phone, etc.
Don’t expose others
Make sure you’re fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to work or other shared activities.
Talk to Team Blue
Call our 24/7 Nurse Line at 1-888-247-BLUE (2583) to talk to a registered nurse, at no additional cost. They’ll guide you through your next steps for care.
Your best shot at avoiding the flu
To prevent getting sick, make the following steps part of your routine. Wear your mask when in public, too. The bonus? Some of these good habits also reduce risk of coronavirus. And be sure to stay at home if you think you might be sick to protect others!
- Get your shot
- Avoid close contact in public and with people who are sick
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth
- Get plenty of rest, exercise, fluids, and good nutrition