For information about the flu, flu vaccine, and other ways that you and your family can stay healthy this flu season, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites or call the Massachusetts Department of Health's Immunization Program at 617-983-6800. Also, MASS 2-1-1 connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community, including local flu vaccination clinics.
The Department of Public Health offers a Guide for Parents and Frequently asked questions about the flu to help residents care for themselves and their families without having to visit their health care provider.
Influenza viruses are always changing, so annual vaccination is recommended. Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause the flu that year.
Some Quick Flu Myths and Answers:
Myth: A flu shot can cause the flu
Fact: It can't
Myth: The flu shot made me sick
Fact: Rare, more often coincidence
Myth: I never get sick
Fact: Anyone can get the flu, no special immunity
Myth: I am healthy, I don't have to worry about influenza (the flu)
Fact: Anyone can have a rare complication and anyone can spread influenza (the flu) to someone who is high risk
Myth: Flu shots have many side effects
Fact: Adverse events occur less often than with common over-the-counter and prescribed drugs
Read more Flu Q&A with Dr. Sidebottom, Lowell General Hospital's Infectious Disease Specialist.
Download the Viruses or Bacteria CDC Factsheet.
Visit the CDC website to learn more about antibiotic use.