This year is especially important to get a flu shot because COVID-19 , RSV, and the common cold are circulating alongside flu viruses.
The flu virus is mainly spread from person-to-person contact.
A person infected with the influenza virus can spread virus germs from up to 6 feet away.
In 2022-2023, only 55.1% of children in New Jersey (ages six months to 17 years) and 47.4% of adults in New Jersey (ages 18 years and older) received a flu vaccine.
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine.
GET THE FLU VACCINE
It is recommended everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine.
Flu season lasts from October to May, and the flu vaccine takes 2 weeks to build immunity. Get vaccinated by the end of October to protect yourself for flu season.
Some children receiving their first dose of flu vaccine may require 2 doses.
Older adults, children under the age of 5, pregnant women, and adults with chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes are at higher risk of severe flu complications.
Even healthy children and adults can be hospitalized or die from the flu. Getting a flu vaccine significantly reduces your chances of being hospitalized or dying from flu.
The flu vaccine is safe and effective at reducing the spread of flu and preventing serious flu complications.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Wash your hands with soap and water as soon as they are available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Get your flu vaccine.
Call Your Doctor if you think you have flu symptoms.
There are prescription medications that you can take to help reduce the severity of your illness.
Practice social distancing this flu season – maintain a 6 feet distance from people who do not live in your home.
Wear a mask at indoor public spaces over your mouth and your nose. Masks significantly reduce the spread of influenza and COVID-19 germs.
People can spread the flu to others before they develop symptoms. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.
Tell your family and friends to get their flu shot this flu season to make sure they are protected.
Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
If you are sick, stay home!
Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of flu.
Schedule your appointment for a flu shot today! Use the flu finder tool to help you.
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program offers vaccines at no cost for eligible children through VFC-enrolled doctors. Find out if your child qualifies by contacting your local health department or visiting the NJDOH website to learn more about the VFC Program.
If you experience flu symptoms, call your health care provider immediately.