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Should I get a flu shot?

Last Updated: 12/04/2020

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.

Although flu vaccination is recommended before the end of October, receiving a flu vaccine now is still beneficial since flu viruses can circulate as late as May. If you have not been vaccinated yet, please ensure you get your annual flu vaccination soon. It takes two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.

Getting your flu vaccine is more important than ever as we face increases in COVID-19 cases throughout the state. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and can help to conserve potentially scarce healthcare resources during the pandemic. 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.

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.

Find an FQHC near you with this search tool, through 211 online, or by directly calling 2-1-1 (support is available in English and Spanish).

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

Safety Precautions

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.

Source: Commissioner Persichilli's Remarks 8/19/20