Man shows off flu shot

Stopping the Flu Starts with You

Protect yourself. Protect our community. Get your flu shot today.

Flu season is here. With the current pandemic, 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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Yes. The flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine are different vaccines that protect against different viruses. It is safe and recommended to get both vaccines. The vaccines can keep you from getting sick, and can keep you out of the hospital and prevent you from dying. Experts believe that the flu shot can also protect you from certain COVID-19 complications including stroke, sepsis and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Yes. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now says that the COVID-19 vaccine (including booster shots) can be given at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine. No negative interactions between the COVID-19 and flu vaccines have been reported.

Initially, there was limited data about the interaction between the two vaccines, so the CDC recommended a 14-day waiting period between vaccines. Now, more data has been gathered and the CDC changed its guidance based on demonstrated safety. It is safe to receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time.

September and October are ideal times to get the flu vaccine. It is important to be vaccinated before the flu viruses begin to spread within your community. Remember, it takes about two weeks after receiving the flu vaccine for antibodies to develop and provide protection.

Some children (ages 6 months through 8 years) need two doses of the vaccine that must be given at least 4 weeks apart. It is important to get the first dose as soon as possible so that the second dose can be given by late October.

As long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even in January or later.

The flu shot cannot cause the flu. However, you may experience side effects after receiving the vaccine. These side effects are usually mild and only last a few days. Some common side effects include:

  • Soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling at the injection site
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Fainting (this is less common, but may occur with any injection)

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.

You can schedule an appointment with your primary care physician, or you can find a doctor at one of our Memorial Hermann Medical Group clinics.

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…

  • millions of illnesses and doctor’s visits
  • tens of thousands of hospitalizations
  • thousands of deaths

Is It COVID-19 or the Flu?

Flu vs COVID

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