The Flu Shot: Should You Get It?

Published: Monday, January 8, 2024
NGPG Family Medicine Physician

It’s that time of year again! The leaves have fallen, the days are shorter, and the weather is turning chilly. It’s also the time of year when flu vaccination clinics abound, and you may have some questions.

Why should I get the flu shot?

The flu vaccine can help prevent you from coming down with influenza. It also prevents millions of doctor’s visits each year. In the 2019-2020 flu season, the vaccine prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million medical visits, 105,000 hospitalizations and 6,300 deaths. During the most effective years, the vaccine has reduced the chances of having to go to the doctor by up to 60%.

Who should get the flu shot?

The CDC recommends that everyone, 6 months and older get the flu shot every year, with rare exceptions. Getting the flu shot can reduce flu illnesses, as well as time away from work and school.

  1. There are several flu shots approved for use in people 6 months and older.
  2. There are two flu shots approved only for adults 65 years and older.
  3. Flu shots are recommended for pregnant people and people with certain chronic health conditions.
  4. The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in people 2 years through 49 years of age.

When should I get the flu shot?

The CDC recommends getting your flu shot each year, ideally by the end of October. However, getting the vaccine later is better than not getting it at all. For children, some need two doses of the flu vaccine. It’s recommended that they get the first dose as soon as the vaccine is available, because the second dose needs to be given at least four weeks after the first.

Where do I get the flu shot?

Each primary care office, including pediatrics and OB/GYN, at Northeast Georgia Physicians Group offers the flu vaccine. Just call your doctor’s office and let them know you’d like to come in. Many local pharmacies also offer flu shots.

If you have questions about the flu vaccine, talk to your doctor. They are there to help, and make sure you understand why it’s important to receive your flu shot each year. For more information, visit