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Should I get a flu shot?
Yes, the New Jersey Department of Health strongly encourages you to get a flu shot.
The CDC and the Department of Health recommend everyone six months of age and older receive a flu vaccine every year. The best time to get vaccinated is early fall.
This year, the CDC is encouraging residents to get vaccinated by the end of October. It takes two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That's why it's best to get vaccinated before influenza viruses start to spread in your community. However, residents can be vaccinated anytime while flu viruses are circulating, even after January.
Since COVID-19 will likely be circulating during this year's flu season, getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever.
Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19 - however, the vaccine can reduce flu illnesses and hospitalizations, helping to minimize the stress on the healthcare system as these two illnesses circulate.
Getting a yearly flu vaccine helps protect you and those around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness such as infants and young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
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.