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Flu vaccine - who gets it?

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 1 minute read

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone over the age of 6 months, with rare exceptions, should receive a yearly flu vaccine. This is especially important for people in certain categories that make them vulnerable to severe illness if they catch the influenza virus and which can then cause breathing difficulties, pneumonia, sepsis and death.

The flu vaccine is also highly recommended for health care workers for two reasons: firstly so they don't pass on the virus to their patients, and secondly so they don't become unwell and require time off sick.

Doctor’s advice

What other groups should get the vaccine?

People who fit the following criteria should get a flu vaccine:

  • Anyone aged 65 and over
  • Those with certain long-term health conditions, such as heart or respiratory conditions, diabetes, physical disability, or a weakened immune system
  • Pregnant women
  • Caregivers
  • Children

It’s best to get your shot before flu season starts, in September or October. Your doctor will determine the vaccine's correct dosing schedule for children aged 6 months to 8 years.

Why can’t everyone get it?

They can! Make sure you are fit and well on the day, and the sooner in the season you get it, the earlier that you are protected.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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