Influenza, or "flu," is caused by a virus infecting the respiratory system, meaning your nose, throat, bronchial tubes, and lungs. Flu is very contagious and spreads easily from one person to the next. Most people with healthy immune systems will get over the flu within two weeks, but young children, older adults, and people with chronic illnesses are more likely to develop complications such as pneumonia.
Vaccination is your first, and most important, step to reducing your risk of flu and its complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals age six months and older get an annual flu vaccine. If the timing aligns, your flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster can be administered during the same visit. Combined flu and COVID-19 appointments are available at certain vaccine centers.