A flu shot is your best defense. Get the flu vaccine. Make an appointment.

Austin Regional Clinic

Flu Shots

Your Best Defense

Get the Flu Vaccine

Make an Appointment

Updated 09/9/2019                                                                                                    Download Flu FAQs 

Seasonal Flu: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What can I do to protect myself and my family against the flu?

    By far, the single most important preventive measure is to get vaccinated each fall.

  • When should I get a flu vaccination?

    CDC recommends that people get their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available in their community. Yearly flu vaccination should begin in September and continue throughout the flu season, which can last as late as May.

  • How long does it take for the flu vaccine to become effective?

    It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.

  • If I get the flu vaccine early in the season, will I still be protected late in the season?

    The flu vaccine provides protection for the entire season against the influenza strains contained in the vaccine. Studies do not show that it is beneficial to receive more than one dose of vaccine during a flu season.

  • Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?

    Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and the flu can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.

  • Why do I need to get vaccinated against the flu every year?

    Flu viruses change from year to year, which means two things. First, you can get the flu more than once during your lifetime. Second, a vaccine made against flu viruses circulating last year may not protect against the newer viruses. That is why the influenza vaccine is updated to include current viruses every year. Another reason to get the flu vaccine every year is that after you get vaccinated, your immunity declines over time and may be too low to provide protection after a year.

  • How do flu vaccines work?

    Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body. These antibodies provide protection against the viruses that are in the vaccine.

  • Who should get vaccinated?

    Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended universal flu vaccination to expand protection against the flu to more people.

    While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

    • Children younger than 5, especially younger than 2 years old
    • Adults 65 years of age and older
    • Pregnant women and women up to two weeks post-partum
    • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
    • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
    • People living with or caring for those at high risk for complications from flu
  • What flu viruses are included in the 2019–2020 flu vaccine?

    • Quadrivalent vaccine (QIV): protects against 4 viruses including two influenza A viruses (an H1N1 and an H3N2) and two influenza B viruses.
  • What types of flu vaccines are available at ARC?

    The “flu shot” is an inactive vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. There are three different flu shots available at Austin Regional Clinic:

    • Regular flu shot (QIV): Approved for people ages 6 months and older
    • Preservative-free flu shot (QIV): Approved for ages 6 months & older (available for ages 6 to 35 months and pregnant women)
    • High-dose shot (QIV): Recommended for ages 65 years and older and individuals with compromised immune systems.

    The “FluMist” is a vaccine (containing live virus) that is sprayed into the nose to help protect agains the Flu.

  • Why is FluMist available again this year?

    FluMist was taken off the market in previous years when it was shown to be ineffective. The manufacturer has since changed the vaccine to be more effective. This year the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limited use of the FluMist; only children who would not otherwise receive the flu vaccine should receive it. However it is an option for healthy adults under the age of 50 as well.