Having everyone in your family get a flu vaccine every year helps protect against the flu. Learn about the flu and the benefits of the flu vaccine.

What is the flu?

The flu (also called influenza) is an illness that affects the lungs and nose. The flu is spread when a person with the flu coughs or sneezes and another person comes into contact with the germs.

What is the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine helps prevent the flu during flu season. All children over age 6 months and all adults should get the flu vaccine.

Can you get the flu from the flu vaccine?

No. You cannot catch the flu from the flu vaccine.

When is flu season?

Flu season is during the fall and winter. Your family should get the flu vaccine before flu season starts. This way, they are protected when it begins.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms can be different in every person. The flu is different from a cold because flu symptoms usually appear suddenly. Cold symptoms usually appear gradually over a few days.

Common flu symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever or chills
  • Headache, muscle or body aches
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
Rev. 4/2018. Reviewed by the MGHfC Family Advisory Council.