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Should I get a flu shot?
Yes, the CDC and the New Jersey Department of Health strongly recommend everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year.
It is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this fall and winter, making it more important than ever to get a flu vaccine. It is the best way to protect yourself and others – especially those who are particularly vulnerable to both COVID-19 and influenza such as older adults and those with chronic health conditions.
Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19 as influenza viruses and coronaviruses are different; however, the flu vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and can help to conserve potentially scarce healthcare resources during the pandemic.
September and October are good times to be vaccinated.
Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time.
Flu vaccines are safe and effective and are offered in many locations including doctor's offices, clinics, health departments, urgent care centers, and pharmacies.
Low or no cost flu vaccinations will be available through local health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and some non-profit organizations.
The New Jersey Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) also ensures private providers can offer no or low-cost for children flu and other vaccines for children who are Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, and underinsured.
For more information, visit nj.gov/health/fighttheflunj
The CDC has provided guidance on how best to administer vaccines safely during the pandemic. These measures include:
- Screening persons for symptoms of COVID-19 and contact with persons with possible COVID-19 prior to and upon arrival
- Ensuring all staff and patients wear face coverings
- Reducing crowding in waiting areas
- Keeping people at least 6 feet apart
Individuals should check with their health department or other healthcare provider to see what they have implemented to keep residents safe.