The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complication.

Flu vaccine is now available in health departments. Please call your local health department to make an appointment.

Flu activity in Georgia has been sporadic this autumn. Take the time to get a flu shot (vaccine) now before the occurrence of flu grows. To keep track of the flu in Georgia, visit dph.georgia.gov/flu-activity-georgia.

After flu spreads, symptoms may include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose or congestion, body aches, headache and fatigue. Although flu symptoms are similar to those of a cold, they are more severe. Cold symptoms do not result in serious health problems, whereas flu symptoms may.

Everyone Needs a Flu Vaccine – Every Year

Flu viruses are constantly changing, and different flu viruses circulate and cause illness each season.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk for complications from flu, and for people who live with or care for someone who is at high risk. Some of those people include the following:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, such as chronic respiratory (such as asthma), cardiovascular disease (except hypertension), or kidney, liver, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (such as diabetes mellitus);
  • People who are immunosuppressed
  • People who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season
  • Children who are 6 months through 18 years old and are on long-term aspirin therapy
  • People who are morbidly obese
  • American Indians/Alaska Natives
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including health care workers, household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu, and household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

For a complete list of all people recommended for flu vaccination, as well as those who are not recommended for flu vaccination, visit Who Should Get Vaccinated.

A Reminder for Parents
Many children need two doses of flu vaccine this season to be fully protected. Children 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses. Some children in this age group who have received a flu vaccine in prior seasons will also need two doses. Your child’s health care provider can tell you whether two doses are recommended for your child.

Vaccine Options and Safety
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. More information about the different type of flu vaccines available.

Where to Get Vaccinated
Flu vaccine should be available widely, and in many convenient locations. See your doctor or nurse to get the flu vaccine, or seek out other locations where vaccine is being offered, such as pharmacies, health departments, grocery stores and many others. Use the vaccine locator to find flu vaccine in your area.

More Information