A flu vaccine makes it less likely that you will get the flu. A flu shot may not prevent you from getting the flu completely. But getting a flu shot reduces the risk of infection, severe disease, death, and hospitalization.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone ages six months and older should get a flu vaccine. There are different types of flu vaccines. Some flu vaccines are meant for people who are 65 years and older. If you are 65 years and older, you should get these vaccines, if available.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires the flu vaccine for all students ages 6 months or older who attend child care, pre-school, and K-12 schools in Massachusetts. Additionally, students under 30 attending post-secondary schools, with limited exceptions.
In addition to getting your flu shot, we encourage you to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination including the updated COVID-19 boosters if you are eligible. The updated booster will protect you against the original COVID-19 strain and the omicron variant. Find more information about the updated booster in our COVID-19 vaccine FAQs.
Yes, you can get a flu shot any time even if you recently received a COVID vaccine. You can even get both vaccines on the same day. Some clinics will offer flu shots and the updated COVID-19 booster together.
There are many places to get a flu vaccine or updated COVID booster. You should get your flu vaccine where it is most convenient for you.
Please note: Some places may only offer the flu vaccine to patients of certain ages or may not have the vaccines for patients 65 and older available.
Visit a local pharmacy to obtain your flu vaccine or COVID-19 vaccine or booster.
Call your primary care provider (PCP) or message them through Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway to find out how to get your flu vaccine.
Patients can schedule a flu shot at some locations across Mass General Brigham. You can find and schedule an appointment on Patient Gateway.
The flu shot cannot cause the flu. Flu shots either contain inactivated (“killed”) flu virus or parts of the virus.
When you get the flu shot, you are not only protecting yourself. You are protecting everyone else by preventing the spread of the flu, and this includes our patients and your family, friends, and community.
Immunity from the flu vaccine can wear off. In addition, the flu virus strains circulating can change from year to year, so you need an updated flu shot each fall.
Find more information about the flu and flu vaccine on the CDC’s website.
Updated December 15, 2022