What are the pros and cons of getting a flu shot?

A patient receives a flu shot.

Here are some things to consider when getting the flu vaccine.

Flu shot benefits

  • Each year a flu vaccine is designed to target the viruses expected to be most common that particular season.
  • Getting a flu vaccine during flu season can reduce the risk of getting sick with the flu by about 50–60%, according to recent studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1
  • Flu season may begin as early as September and last as late as spring. It’s recommended to get your vaccine early in the season, but it’s never too late to get your shot and lower your risk for severe flu illness.
  • The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older receive an annual flu vaccination, with some rare exceptions. Since there are different flu vaccines approved for use in different groups of people, speak with your doctor about which option is right for you. For example, if you have an egg allergy, there is an egg-free vaccine available for ages 18+

Flu vaccines: Should I get a flu vaccine?, opens new window

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Flu shot concerns

  • Side effects are possible with any medicine or vaccine. However, possible side effects for the flu shot are typically mild, such as soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, fever, aches or other minor symptoms. If these minor side effects occur, it is typically soon after the shot is administered, and symptoms last for up to 2 days.
  • The flu shot may cost money. But if you’re a Humana member, it may be available at no extra cost, depending on your Humana healthcare plan.
  • A common concern is that a health condition may stop you from getting a flu shot. For example, not all flu vaccines are right for pregnant women. Know that there are different vaccine options that may work for you. Talk to your doctor to determine what is best for your health.

Who should I talk with about my flu shot requirements?

If you have more questions or concerns about getting a flu shot, talk with a doctor. Finding an in-network physician is fast and easy.

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Sources

  1. “Vaccine Effectiveness - How Well Does the Flu Vaccine Work?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed August 7, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/vaccineeffect.htm, opens new window
  2. “Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed August 7, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm, opens new window