Protect yourself. Protect our community. Get your flu shot today.
Flu season is here. It is more important than ever to protect yourself and your family by getting a flu vaccine. Memorial Hermann is here to help guide and support you and your loved ones to stay healthy throughout flu season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)*, the 2021-2022 flu season resulted in between 8 million to 13 million flu illnesses, between 3 million and 6 million medical visits and 80,000- 160,000 hospitalizations. Memorial Hermann cares about keeping our community healthy and administered over 60,000 doses of the flu vaccine in 2021. Getting the flu vaccine helps reduce your chance of catching the flu as well as decreases the severity of your symptoms if you do contract the illness. The flu vaccine has been proven effective in reducing hospitalizations and flu-related deaths. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge from delta and the other variants, the flu vaccine will be instrumental in preventing further strain on our hospital systems. In these unprecedented times, we must all do our part in protecting our community by getting vaccinated. Everyone 6 months and older is eligible for a flu vaccine.
Memorial Hermann has many locations where you and your family can get a flu vaccine.
People older than 6 months of age can safely receive a flu shot. Both children and adults should get a flu shot to protect themselves from getting sick and from spreading the flu virus to others.
The flu shot is especially important for people in high-risk medical groups. This includes pregnant women, adults over 65 years of age and people with chronic medical conditions. High-risk individuals are more likely to become sicker if they contract the flu virus, and could experience severe complications requiring hospitalization.
There are very few groups of people who should not have a flu shot. If you are allergic to ingredients in the flu vaccine, including gelatin, or certain antibiotics, your healthcare provider may recommend that you not receive a flu shot. Most people with an egg allergy can safely receive a flu shot. If you have an egg allergy and experience only hives after exposure, you can safely receive any age-appropriate flu shot. Talk to your healthcare provider about your particular history.
This year’s flu season has 3 different vaccine options. Your healthcare provider can recommend the option that is best for you.
Yes. Children older than 6 months are eligible to receive the flu shot. It is safe and recommended for children.
Infants younger than 6 months are not eligible to be vaccinated. Parents (including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers) and caregivers are strongly encouraged to get a flu shot so they do not spread the flu virus to children who are too young to be vaccinated. Infants are more likely to become sicker and face more complications if they contract the flu virus.
Pregnant women should be vaccinated because the flu virus may be harmful to an unborn baby.
The flu vaccine is available at Memorial Hermann locations throughout Greater Houston. We have a large network of physicians and community partners who offer flu vaccinations for you and your family.
This year is different than “normal” years because flu season is arriving in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both viruses circulating at the same time may create a double impact on the community and may have significant health consequences, even for people who rarely get sick. This year’s flu vaccine could be the most important one you ever receive.
In addition to keeping you healthy and out of the hospital, reducing the number of people in the community who have the flu will help the overburdened healthcare system.
Yes. The flu vaccine can keep you from getting sick, keep you out of the hospital and keep you from dying. It can also prevent you from spreading the virus to others who are in high-risk populations and those who are not eligible to be vaccinated.
The vaccine is updated each year, and this year’s vaccine protects against the four flu viruses that are currently circulating through communities.
Each year, the flu vaccine prevents…
The flu vaccine can be given at the same time with other vaccines, such as Tdap or Pneumonia vaccines. This is helpful because patients can get what they need in one visit to the pharmacy or doctor’s office. Generally speaking, a waiting period is only required when two live virus vaccines are needed and not given within the same clinical visit. The waiting period in between the two vaccines would be approximately four weeks.
A flu vaccine cannot cause the flu. A vaccine is either made from an inactivated flu virus which means it is not infectious, or it is made from proteins from a flu vaccine virus.
Generally, flu vaccine side effects (if any) are mild and go away on their own within a few days. According to the CDC, side effects that may occur from a flu shot could include soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given, headache, fever (low grade), nausea, muscle aches and fatigue.
Memorial Hermann has many options for current patients to get a flu vaccine. If you are in need of a primary care provider (PCP), you may find one here.
Flu vaccines are also available at many other places including pharmacies and health departments.
New this flu season is a preferential recommendation for the use of higher dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines in people age 65 and older in place of the standard dose, unadjuvanted flu vaccines. Adjuvanted vaccines have been enhanced to create a stronger immune response.
For the 2022-2023 flu season, there are three flu vaccines that are recommended preferentially for people 65 years and older: Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine.
Disclaimer: *Because influenza surveillance does not capture all cases of flu that occur in the U.S., CDC provides these estimated ranges to better reflect the larger burden of influenza. These estimates are calculated based on data collected through CDC’s Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) and are preliminary.