It's Time to Get the Flu Vaccine

Jessica Forde recieves her shot at the Delany Medical Center in New York City.

Jessica Forde recieves her shot at the Delany Medical Center in New York City.  (2009 Getty Images)

It's time to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the flu season.

Getting vaccinated is easy. The Federal Government has several resources to help you figure out if you are considered high risk and where you can get vaccinated.

High-Risk Groups

Everybody over six-months-old should get vaccinated for the flu. However, there are some groups of people who are at higher risk of getting sick and having serious complications from the flu. These are:

• Senior Citizens: People who are 65-years-old or older have a weaker immune system and therefore more prone to getting sick. In addition, the flu might create more serious health problems, and even death. That's why senior citizens should get vaccinated each year.

• Young Children: Because their immune system is still developing, young children over the age of six months should be vaccinated against the flu. For those children who cannot get vaccinated, prevention is the best way to protect them.

• People Who Are Sick: has a section about the risks of the flu for certain people with health problems, including diabetes, cancer, arthritis and asthma.

Your health care provider can answer your questions about who should get vaccinated and why.

Types of Vaccines

There are two types of vaccines:

• Flu Shot. This is the most common type of flu vaccination. It's given to healthy and sick people, as well as young and old. Senior citizens normally get a higher dose of the flu vaccine.

• Nasal Spray. This type of vaccine is for healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49, with the exception of pregnant women.

Get your vaccine early in the season because the flu vaccine becomes effective about two weeks after it’s administered, once the body generates antibodies to protect against the flu.

Where to Get Vaccinated

Finding out where to get vaccinated is simple. Visit and enter your zip code to find the closest pharmacy or vaccination center. You can also search by type of vaccine, so you can find the vaccine that’s right for you.

To learn more about protecting yourself against flu, visit and and are the U.S. Government’s official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

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