Select Page

Armoring Up Against Influenza:

A Look at the CDC’s Guidelines on Flu Shots

Written by Park Avenue Concierge Medicine
Home > Blog >
Flu Shot > A Look at the CDC’s Guidelines on Flu Shots

A Look at the CDCs Guidelines on Flu Shots

A Look at the CDC’s Guidelines on Flu Shots

As the leaves turn amber signaling the arrival of autumn, another significant event unfolds in the healthcare arena – the onset of flu season. The influenza virus, with its ability to morph into new strains, presents a recurring health challenge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a vanguard in public health, offers guidelines on flu vaccinations to help us navigate through the influenza-laden waters. Let’s unravel the CDC’s recommendations on flu shots to fortify our defense against this seasonal adversary.

Decoding the Flu Shot

The flu shot is our primary shield against the influenza virus. It is formulated annually to combat the most likely strains of the virus for that year. The vaccine triggers our immune system to produce antibodies, readying our bodies to identify and battle influenza should it dare cross our path.

CDC’s Recommendations on Flu Shots

The CDC’s stance on flu vaccinations is clear and straightforward: an annual flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, with rare exceptions. The emphasis is on the annual aspect, given the flu virus’s chameleon-like ability to change its genetic makeup.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

Virtually everyone should roll up their sleeves for the flu shot, especially:

  1. Children aged 6 months to 5 years.
  2. Adults 65 years of age and older.
  3. Pregnant women.
  4. People with underlying medical conditions like asthma, heart disease, or diabetes.
  5. Healthcare personnel and caregivers.

When to Get Vaccinated?

The ideal time to get vaccinated is before flu viruses start to spread in the community, usually by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated later can still be beneficial.

The Spectrum of Flu Vaccines

The flu vaccine tableau is diverse, with options like:

  1. Standard dose flu shots.
  2. High-dose shots for older adults.
  3. Egg-free vaccines for those with egg allergies.

Delving into Effectiveness

The effectiveness of flu vaccines can vary. However, a flu vaccine can significantly lower the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations and severe disease. Even if one does catch the flu post-vaccination, the severity is often much less compared to an unvaccinated individual.

Dissecting Myths

Contrary to some myths, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine as it contains inactivated or severely weakened viruses. The minor side effects like soreness at the injection site are a small price to pay for the protection it grants.


In the battle against influenza, the flu shot emerges as a potent weapon. Adhering to the CDC’s guidelines on flu vaccinations not only shields us from the flu but also contributes to community immunity, making each vaccinated individual a guardian of public health. As we inch closer to the flu season, let’s arm ourselves with the flu shot, fostering a healthier community.


1. The CDC recommends the use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine as an option for vaccination for most people during the 2023-2024 flu season. The types of flu vaccines include injectable flu vaccines or flu shots. Some flu shots are made with inactivated influenza viruses, while one is made without influenza viruses. 1

2. The CDC has been recommending annual vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older since 2010. The recommendation continues for as long as flu viruses pose a threat, which during some seasons, can be as late as May or June. 2

3. A full report titled “Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2023–24” provides a detailed outline of the CDC’s recommendations for the flu vaccination. It mentions the groups recommended for vaccination. 3

4. October is highlighted as a good time to get a flu vaccine as seasonal flu activity is usually low across most of the country during this period. The flu activity often begins to increase in October, making it a prime time to get vaccinated. 4

5. For people aged 65 years and older, three specific flu vaccines are preferentially recommended over other flu vaccines. These vaccines include Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Flublok Quadrivalent, or Fluad Quadrivalent. They are preferred for this age group as they either have a higher dose or are adjuvanted to provide better protection against the flu. 5