⚠ COVID-19 INFORMATION: Resources, Vaccine Information

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine

Para obtener información sobre la vacuna contra la influenza (gripe) en español, haga clic aquí.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the influenza (flu) vaccination every year for most people age 6 months and older. Getting the flu vaccine can reduce illness, antibiotic use, missed school and work, hospitalizations, doctor visits, and death caused by complications from the flu. 

This year it is especially important to slow the spread of the flu during COVID-19. We do not yet know how these two viruses will interact. Remember, the annual flu vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the flu. 

Patients who are considered high-risk, and their close contacts, will be given special consideration to receive the flu vaccine as soon as it is available. High-risk patients include those with the following conditions/diagnoses:

Lurie Children's will offer the flu vaccine to all eligible patients (6 months and older, and who are safe to receive the vaccine) during scheduled visits at our main hospital, outpatient centers and immediate care centers. We encourage family and other household contacts of high-risk children to also get the flu vaccine from their primary care doctor. If your child has not received the flu vaccine yet, please speak to your doctor or nurse about receiving the flu vaccine at your next appointment.

Flu & COVID-19

This flu season brings heightened concerns for families due to COVID-19. Dr. Ravi Jhaveri, Associate Division Head of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, discusses the importance of the flu vaccine, COVID-19 and more.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Flu Vaccine

Yes. The CDC now reports that individuals can safely receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time of other vaccines. Similarly, if you just received the flu shot in the past few days or plan to soon, you do not need to plan on spacing vaccines out. 

No, the flu shot does not cause the flu. Once you get the flu vaccine, your body will develop antibodies that will protect you from the flu. When your body develops these antibodies, you may experience some fever and muscle aches. It takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protective antibodies, so if exposed shortly before or during that time period, you may still get the flu (why it’s best to get vaccinated before broad community spread).

If there is any risk that anyone in your household can get the flu, your child could also get it. The CDC and the AAP recommend the vaccine for all children. When children are young, or have a chronic condition, they get sicker when they get the flu. It is possible to get the illness anywhere your child comes in contact with other people (at a store, in the library, at home, etc.).

The ‘flu virus’ is actually part of a family of many viruses. The specific flu viruses that are most common can change from one year to the next. Each year, the CDC does its best to identify the most common viruses, and adjusts the vaccine to protect against as many of the viruses as possible. Occasionally, there are flu viruses that become prevalent that the CDC did not expect. To keep your child protected against these viruses, it is always best to get the flu vaccine.

Children under six months of age are too young to get the vaccine. We recommend that everyone who comes into regular contact with infants get the flu shot. If they are protected, your child will be protected. Good hygiene and regular hand washing can also reduce the risk of others passing on germs that can make your infant sick.

If your child’s physician or a nurse offers your child the flu shot at an appointment, we recommend you take it. Vaccine supplies are not always reliable, and it is best to get your child the flu shot when it is readily available. If you find getting an appointment challenging, consider getting vaccinated at your local pharmacy or urgent care.

The information included above is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute in any way for medical education, training, treatment, advice, or diagnosis by a healthcare professional. A qualified healthcare professional should always be consulted before making any healthcare-related decision.

Additional Resources

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