The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu vaccines for everyone 6 months and older, especially for pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, adults over the age of 50, and children under age 5.
The seasonal flu vaccine is available at all Kaiser Permanente medical offices. Get your flu vaccine when you're at a medical center for any other service, or just walk in during regular business hours. Check the injection room hours at your medical center because some close during lunch.
Most of the 2019-2020 flu vaccine protects against the three influenza viruses that will be most common this year. Some seasonal flu vaccines will protect against four flu viruses. The viruses in the vaccine can change each year based on international surveillance and scientists' estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate each year.
The 2019-2020 flu vaccine protects against the following trivalent and quadrivalent flu strains:
Once you receive your vaccine, it takes about two weeks for it to begin protecting you. The vaccine will give you protection against the flu until it's time for a vaccination next fall.
The CDC recommends you get your seasonal flu vaccine as soon as the vaccine is available. It's best to get vaccinated before December when flu season typically begins to intensify. You can still get vaccinated throughout the flu season, which can begin as early as September and last as late as May.
During flu season, many different influenza viruses can circulate at different times and in different places. If flu viruses are still spreading in the community, vaccination can help protect you.
Seasonal flu vaccine effectiveness varies every season. Although some years it is not as effective, getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself and others against the flu virus.
No, the flu vaccine will protect against influenza strains during the entire flu season, even among elderly persons with weakened immune systems.
Yes, it is never too late. It is better to receive a flu vaccine late than not at all.
Yes. You will have some immunity against closely related viruses that may persist for one or more years, but your immunity level depends on your health. You should still get this year's vaccination because it protects against viruses that were not covered in last year's vaccine.
No. Although the antibody response to the flu vaccine might be low, a booster dose of vaccine does not appear to improve the immune response.
People who have had GBS should carefully evaluate the risk versus benefit with their physician. Although people who have had GBS are at increased risk of subsequent episodes, they might also be at increased risk of complications from the flu.
Recent studies concluded that anyone with egg allergies can now safely receive any licensed and recommended flu vaccine. Please talk to your doctor’s office if you have any questions.
Women who are pregnant or nursing during flu season should get a seasonal flu vaccine.
Yes. Kaiser Permanente recommends a flu vaccine for most people with weakened immune systems. If you are concerned, talk with your doctor or care team.
Yes. Diabetes can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight the flu virus. If you have diabetes, you should get the flu shot. People with diabetes also have an increased risk of getting pneumonia and should talk with their doctor or care team about the pneumococcal vaccine.
Children aged 6 months through 8 years require two doses of influenza vaccine (administered at least 4 weeks apart) during their first season of vaccination to optimize immune response.
FluMist will be available for pediatric patients through 18 years old only. Call your medical center for availability.
Yes, patients will be covered at CareClinics and contracted pharmacies. Certain employer groups do not accept outside vaccinations. If you want to get a vaccination at a non-Kaiser Permanente facility, call Member Services at 1-888-901-4636 prior to getting vaccinated as some employers/plans may not cover outside services.
For elderly people not living in chronic-care facilities and those with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), the flu vaccine is 30 percent to 70 percent effective in preventing hospitalization for pneumonia and influenza.
In studies among elderly nursing home residents, the flu vaccine was most effective in preventing severe illness and complications that might follow flu (like pneumonia), and deaths related to the flu. In this population, the vaccine can be 50 percent to 60 percent effective in preventing hospitalization or pneumonia, and 80 percent effective in preventing death from the flu.
Because people 65 or older are at high risk for serious complications from flu, it also is important their caregivers get a flu vaccination.
High-dose flu vaccine is available on a limited basis at all medical centers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu vaccines as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu, and does not have a preference about which vaccine patients 65 years of age and older should receive.
Yes. If you are 65 and older and have never received a pneumococcal shot, ask your provider for the pneumococcal vaccine.
Contact Nursing Home Services at 206-326-4443.
If you are sick with the flu, you should stay home and keep away from others for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. This includes not going to work or school and no travel except to go to medical appointments.
If you have mild flu symptoms but you have not had a fever of 101°F or higher for at least three days, we recommend that you stay at home until your symptoms have gotten better. You do not need to go to your medical center for treatment.
The seasonal flu is the most common type of flu. This flu is most widespread during the flu season, which is in the late fall and winter. Common symptoms are high fever, chills, body aches, headache, tiredness, a dry cough, and sore throat. Seasonal flu symptoms usually last 3 to 5 days but can last as long as 7 to 10 days. Some symptoms, such as a dry cough, can last longer. Seasonal flu is most severe in older people, very young children, and those with chronic health conditions.
These are important things you can do to protect against flu viruses: