Flu Season Is Here: Get Vaccinated to Protect Yourself and Others

With the flu and COVID-19 circulating this season, DSHS and HHSC are encouraging everyone who can to get vaccinated.

Flu season often begins in October and can continue as late as May, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s best to get the flu shot during early fall. DSHS recommends that everyone 6 months or older get vaccinated, especially caregivers, older adults, young children, pregnant women or those who have chronic health conditions.

Visit your primary care provider or local pharmacy, or visit the DSHS Flu Vaccination webpage to learn more about where to get a flu shot.

Flu symptoms can last one week or longer and can include fever, body aches, chills, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and extreme fatigue. Getting a flu shot reduces the chance of getting the flu and could lessen the severity of symptoms if you do become ill.

It takes about two weeks after receiving the flu shot for immunity to build up. It’s important to get your shot as soon as possible, and remember to take these preventative actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
  • Keep surfaces disinfected.
  • Stay home from work and avoid social activities if you’re sick.
  • If you get the flu, take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. These drugs are different from antibiotics and can only be received by prescription. They are known to lessen the severity of the flu. Visit the CDC What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs webpage for more information.

While there are similarities between symptoms of the flu and COVID-19, they are caused by different viruses, and testing is needed to confirm the illness. For more information, visit the CDC Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19 webpage.

To learn more about the flu, visit the DSHS Flu Vaccination webpage.