Last flu season was a rough one, mainly because the influenza A (H3) strain in the vaccine did not match the circulating A (H3) strain that was making most people sick. This season, CDC believes the strains in the vaccine will be a good match against the currently circulating strains and provide better protection.

Although the flu vaccine is usually 50 to 60 percent effective, it is still the best way to fight the flu. Even if you do get the flu, getting the vaccine can make your illness milder and reduce the risk of serious outcomes, such as hospitalizations.

This season, there are many different types of flu vaccine available including shotsintradermal shots and nasal sprays. This season’s vaccine also comes in two different forms: trivalent (protection against 3 virus strains) and quadrivalent (protection against four virus strains). CDC does not recommend one specific flu vaccine over another, they just encourage that you get one if you’re 6 months of age or older.

Now is the time to get vaccinated as flu viruses typically begin circulating in October and November and it can take 2 weeks to develop protection after receiving the vaccine. Your body’s immunity to flu viruses also declines over time, so getting vaccinated against the flu every year is important – it is the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community against the flu.