Flu Information

Flu and COVID-19

The influenza (flu) vaccine is even more important today than in the past because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While flu shots do not prevent COVID-19, they offer important personal and public health benefits:
  • Influenza vaccine prevents flu and/or decreases severity of flu in those who become infected.
  • Because COVID-19 and flu cause similar symptoms, reducing flu in our community will expedite evaluation of patients with respiratory infections.
  • Patients with seasonal flu fill our hospitals during the winter, and the vaccine is a critically important strategy to reduce avoidable hospitalization and free up beds for those with COVID-19 and other serious illnesses. 
  • Getting a flu shot helps your community; it prevents you from spreading the disease to infants, pregnant women, patients with immunosuppression and those with medical conditions who cannot take the vaccine.
  • Flu vaccine is a requirement for all Fall 2020 students enrolled in residence as a part of the Community Compact.

Get Your Flu Shot

Yale Health is offering new options for getting your flu shot this year for all members of our community, regardless of Yale Health enrollment. These options are convenient and safe because you will not encounter crowds. Use the Find Your Flu Shot Tool to review options for getting your flu shot this year and make the choice that works best for you.  

Be Ready to Get Your Flu Shot

Arrive on time
Wear a mask
Be ready to identify allergies
Come alone (unless you have scheduled your family at a Pediatric Family Flu Clinic)
High-dose vaccine is available as a choice for those over age 65  

About the Flu

Flu symptoms often include fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose and headaches. 

Most people recover within 5-14 days, but more serious cases and complications such as pneumonia can occur. The people at greatest risk of complications are:

  • those over 65 years old
  • pregnant women
  • young children and
  • people with chronic health conditions such as lung or heart disease and diabetes.

If you become sick, please call us so that we can advise you about the best course of action. Anti-viral medications can be useful for some patients early in the course of flu. We are happy to advise you– and we especially want to hear from you if you are at higher risk for complications.

  • Adults, call 203-432-0038
  • Yale students, call 203-432-0312
  • For children, call 203-432-0206

If you are not a Yale Health member you should contact your primary care provider.

Prevention is key to the control of flu. Public health authorities strongly recommend the flu vaccine.

Other important steps to avoid flu include:

  • washing your hands often with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • not touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and
  • if possible, avoiding close contact with people who are sick with flu. If direct contact is unavoidable, ask the sick person to wear a mask of cover their coughs/sneezes – and remind them about frequent hand washing. 

If you get the flu, please stay home so you can recover more quickly and lower the risk of infecting others. Be sure to have fever-reducing medication (such as Tylenol) on hand, and follow the safe dosing instructions. Drink plenty of fluids and be sure to rest. Protect your close contacts by not sharing utensils and safely disposing of contaminated tissues. Remember to cover your cough and wash your hands frequently. Do not return to work until you have been free of fever for 24 hours without fever-lowering medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I get my flu shot?

You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October.

If you get your flu shot early, do you need a booster?

No, not unless your provider advises it for very specific indications.