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Frequently Asked Questions

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Fighting the Flu

Where can I get a flu shot?

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot, and the best place to get a flu shot is through your doctor. Make sure that everyone in your family gets one so that you are protected during flu season.

If you are over the age of 18, live in Philadelphia, and don’t have other insurance, you can visit one of the health department's many flu shot clinics held around the community during October and November.

PDPH flu clinics are free and open to the uninsured public. Most doctor’s offices and pharmacies also offer flu shots.

Where can my child get a flu shot?

The best place for children to get a flu shot is from their doctor. Children who are eligible for VFC vaccine can receive flu shots for free from doctors who participate in the VFC program.

Children can also get a flu shot at one of our health centers. The Community Flu Clinics that are held throughout Philadelphia are not for children.

When should I get a flu shot?

You can get your flu shot as soon as flu vaccine is available in doctor's offices. This is usually sometime around September, and may be a little later at our health centers. However, you can get a flu shot at any time during flu season and still be protected. This is because people can still get sick from the flu in late spring.

Why should I get a flu shot?

Although influenza is fairly common (up to one out of every five people in the US will get the flu each year), it is actually a very serious disease. Each year in the US, influenza kills about 36,000 people and causes up to 200,000 to be admitted to the hospital.

People at greatest risk from influenza include the elderly, very young children, pregnant women, and people who have medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.

Getting a flu shot every year is the single best way to prevent getting the flu. You should also make sure to do everyday things to prevent the spread of flu, like washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth whenever you sneeze or cough, and staying home from work or school when you are sick.