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It’s Time to Get the Flu Vaccine

What if there was something that would help kids miss fewer days at school? Or if there were a way that parents wouldn’t miss work?

There is something: the flu vaccine. And now is the 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

Image description: Kodiak bear cubs fight playfully as mom waits nearby at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Photos by Steve Hildebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Learn How to Avoid Fake Online Pharmacies

Ninety seven percent of online pharmacies don’t follow U.S. pharmacy laws. If you buy from one of these online pharmacies, you run a high risk of receiving counterfeit or substandard drugs. You also put your personal and financial information at risk.

Beware of an online pharmacy that show these signs of being fake:

  • Allows you to buy drugs without a prescription from your doctor
  • Offers deep discounts or cheap prices that seem too good to be true
  • Sends spam or unsolicited email offering cheap drugs
  • Is located outside of the United States
  • Is not licensed in the United States

Look for these signs of a safe online pharmacy:

  • Always requires a doctor’s prescription
  • Provides a physical address and telephone number in the United States
  • Offers a pharmacist to answer your questions
  • Has a license with your state board of pharmacy. Check to see if it does.

Learn more about buying safely from the Food and Drug Administration’s BeSafeRx campaign.

The Medicare open enrollment period begins today. Learn more about the health and drug plans available.