Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size
A
A
A

Flu Shots: It's Not Too Late

Everyone around you snuffling and sneezing? Take heart, there's still time for prevention!
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

It's December and everywhere you look friends and family are down with flu symptoms: fevers, body aches, and fatigue.

If you're still feeling pretty chipper yourself, great! But if you want to hedge your bets, it's good to know that even though flu season is in full swing, it's not too late for the added protection of the flu vaccine.

Recommended Related to Cold & Flu

Natural Cold Remedies: What to Know

Finding a cure for the common cold has proved harder than paddling across the Pacific in a rowboat. Experts say that's because colds can be caused by more than 200 different viruses. There may be no sure way to stop one in its tracks, but some things may work better than others to make you feel better.

Read the Natural Cold Remedies: What to Know article > >

Flu viruses change from year to year. So each year, manufacturers develop a new vaccine based on predictions of what strains of influenza viruses will be around during flu season. In the spring of 2009, the H1N1 virus spread to the U.S. too late to be included in the regular “seasonal vaccine.” So a separate vaccine - the H1N1 flu vaccine -- was developed. For the 2010-2011 flu season, the 2009 H1N1 virus strain is included in the seasonal flu vaccine.

Flu Vaccines: Shots and Mists

The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get vaccinated, say the experts at the CDC. That means getting a flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine, preferably between October and November.

Yet there's time for prevention, even now. Flu season usually peaks in February -- though it can spike anywhere from November to May. So, getting the flu vaccine later can help protect you and others from down-time with the flu bug. And you can boost the power of prevention by:

Flu Shots FAQ

Won't the flu vaccine make me sick?
Have no fear, getting vaccinated against the flu won't give you influenza. The flu shot is made of killed virus; the mist is made of live, but weakened virus. Both vaccines may produce mild symptoms like muscle aches and a runny nose, but these symptoms are brief and far less severe than the actual flu itself.

I'm pregnant. Should I get the flu shot?
Pregnant women can be particularly vulnerable to flu complications, which include pneumonia, hospitalization, and death.

If you'll be pregnant during flu season, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated. The nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women.

Next Article:

What's your #1 winter health problem?