Maricopa County is asking residents to get their flu vaccine within the next three weeks. Getting vaccinated by the end of October ensures you are protected for the entire flu season, even if the flu starts circulating earlier than normal.
“Now is the time to get your flu vaccine,” said Marcy Flanagan, Executive Director of Maricopa County Public Health. “Your body takes two weeks to develop antibodies after getting the flu shot. Even though we normally see a peak around January, our flu season can start as early as November. We encourage folks to get their flu shot now to prevent illness later.”
What to Know About the Flu Vaccine
- Getting the vaccine means you have a lower chance of getting the flu and passing it to others, including those who are at higher risk for severe illness, like young children, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions.
- If you do get the flu after you’ve had the flu vaccine, it tends to be milder and you are much less likely to be hospitalized.
- The flu vaccine DOES NOT cause flu illness or increase your risk for other respiratory viruses like COVID-19. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the vaccine’s effectiveness.
“The more people who are vaccinated, the fewer will be hospitalized, meaning less strain on our system when we still have COVID-19 circulating,” said Flanagan. “That’s why we are working with partners to make sure anyone who wants the shot can get it for free.”
3 Ways to Get Your Flu Shot
- Children 6 months through 18 years of age can receive free flu shots at one of our Maricopa County Public Health immunization clinics on weekdays (Monday-Friday) by making an appointment.
- If you have insurance, check with your health care provider or locate a flu shot clinic near you using Vaccine Finder.
- If you are uninsured or underinsured, visit Maricopa.gov/flu to find a community event where adults and children can receive a FREE flu shot. These free events are open to ALL in the community, including those with insurance.
“Getting a flu shot is a quick, proven preventive measure you can take right now to protect your health, the health of your loved ones, and the precious resources of our health care system in the middle of a pandemic,” said Flanagan.