Wondering how you can protect yourself from seasonal flu? Or just weighing the pros and cons of the seasonal flu vaccine? The flu vaccine is not only about protecting you from getting the flu but also to prevent you from transmitting the flu to vulnerable people around you, such as the elderly, children, or the immuno-compromised.

Here are some fast facts about flu prevention:
  • Ideally, you should get the seasonal flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated with the flu shot makes sense any time during flu season, which may last from September to May.
  • Think the flu vaccine can give you the flu? It can't. The vaccine is made with a dead (flu shot) or weakened form of the flu virus (nasal flu vaccine), which can't give you influenza
  • Stuck on the fact that you need to get vaccinated every year? There's a good reason. Flu viruses change, so flu vaccines must change, too. Each year's vaccine is unique, cultivated from the flu strains health officials believe will be most menacing that year.

Source: CDC: "Seasonal Influenza;" "Thimerosal FAQs;" "Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 through 8 Years Old;" "Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine [LAIV] (The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine);" "Vaccine and Vaccination: When Should I get Vaccinated?"; and "Disease Burden of Influenza."