Should kids get the flu shot? Getting the flu shot every year is essential to keeping your family healthy. Learn why.

The best offense during a tough flu season is a good defense. You can protect your family from the flu by ensuring everyone in your household gets a flu shot every year.

The flu shot is recommended for every person 6 months of age and older. The flu shot for kids is the same as the flu shot for adults. However, children who are 6 months to 8 years old will need two doses of the flu vaccine if they are getting vaccinated for the first time. Your family may especially need a flu shot if someone in your household is at high risk for life-threatening flu complications due to a chronic health condition. 

Typically, it's best to get the flu shot in early fall. It can take up to two weeks for the antibodies to develop after the vaccine is administered, so it's most effective to get the flu shot before flu season hits. For the 2021-2022 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the flu shot before the end of October, if possible.

If you miss the early window for getting the flu vaccine, Dr. Sharma advises it's better late than never. Some flu seasons stretch out for months. Getting the flu vaccine at any time will help reduce your family's risk of getting sick and reduce the chance of flu-related complications.

Learn more about flu prevention.