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What to Know About Flu Vaccines

Flu shot with child

Published on October 19, 2020

The following information is provided by Cory Offutt, MD, a Phelps Health family medicine physician, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Who needs a flu vaccine?

We recommend that anyone over the age of 6 months get the flu vaccine.

When should people get a flu vaccine?

Getting a flu vaccine when they become available ensures that our bodies will have ample time to develop antibodies that protect against the flu before flu season begins.

Does a flu vaccine work right away?

A flu vaccine is not effective immediately. Generally, it takes around two weeks to develop antibodies after receiving a flu vaccine.

Why should people get a flu vaccine?

Vaccinations are important to help prevent the spread of infections. The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely it is that an infection will spread to people who are not vaccinated.

Why do we need a flu shot every year?

Flu vaccines are needed for a couple of reasons. Information from the CDC states that a person’s immune protection declines over time, so a yearly vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Also, flu viruses are constantly changing, so getting an annual flu shot is important to ensure you are protected against the flu virus that research suggests may be the most common during the upcoming season.

How does a flu vaccine work?

Flu vaccines work by creating antibodies in the body that provide protection against infection with the weakened or inactivated (dead) viruses that are used to make the vaccine.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

Check with your primary care provider first to see if they administer flu vaccines. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can establish care with a Phelps Health primary care provider in your area by calling (573) 364-9000.

Additionally, your local health department or pharmacy may administer flu vaccines. Health clinics also may be available in shopping malls, grocery stores, senior centers and other community settings.

Schedule your flu shot

To schedule your flu shot, contact your provider’s office through MyChart or call your care team today. 


Flu vaccines are available at all Phelps Health clinics. To establish care with a Phelps Health primary care provider near you, please call (573) 364-9000 for help with scheduling an appointment.

Found in: Family Medicine Flu Health Influenza Vaccinations Wellness