Let’s talk about the flu. As we approach a time when we may see the collision of the viruses that cause both the flu and COVID-19, getting a flu vaccine becomes an imperative and responsibility, for those who are eligible to receive it.
Here we discuss what’s true—and what’s not—about the flu vaccine.
If you're a current patient at Weill Cornell Medicine Primary Care, please schedule the nurse visit for a flu shot through your Connect account.
In addition to your primary care provider, flu vaccines are available at clinics; health departments; many pharmacies, schools and colleges; and employers. At this time, many pharmacies offer flu vaccinations free of charge.
With rare exceptions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the annual flu vaccine to people six months of age and older. Patients who are pregnant and have chronic illnesses (such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease), along with most people who are allergic to eggs, can receive flu shots.
When you get a flu shot, it means you are less likely to get the flu. That means your loved ones also are less likely to get the flu. Sometimes people experience cold-like symptoms after they get a flu shot, and sometimes they still get the flu, but it is less severe than they would have experienced if they hadn’t received the shot.
If you get a flu shot, you’re more likely to stay well, and avoid the fever and upper respiratory infections that sometimes accompany the flu. Patients who get the vaccine also reduce their chances of hospitalization from those infections.
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated for the flu during the fall season. Older patients need their immunity to last throughout the entire flu season. Vaccines are ongoing and recommended as long as the flu virus is circulating.
If you're a current Primary Care patient, you can schedule an appointment easily through Connect.