Review the guidelines for flu shots and make sure you have a plan for the current flu season.
Flu shot recommendations for 2023-24 season
Influenza (Flu) is a very contagious respiratory illness. Flu is caused by infection with four types of influenza viruses (A, B, C and D) and various subtypes (such as A/H1N1, A/H3N2, B/Yamagata, B/Victoria, and others). Influenza types A and B cause most human illness in the flu season each year.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, sore muscles, headaches or body aches, and fatigue. They can be mild or severe or can require hospitalization. Therefore, a flu shot is typically recommended, especially for at risk people. If you get a flu shot and experience these symptoms, it can also help you differentiate it from COVID. If so, you can get an accurate diagnosis and treatment faster.
- Read Information for the 2023-2024 Flu Season | CDC from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
- Read the influenza (flu) vaccine recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health.
Flu shots are usually available from most providers beginning in September. The flu season typically lasts from October-February and begins peaking in December. Early vaccination offers the most protection, so most providers encourage vaccination in September-October. But getting a flu shot anytime during the flu season can offer you protection.
Where to get a flu shot in the Puget Sound region
There are several different types of flu shots. Pharmacists and healthcare providers can guide you to which flu shot is right for you based on your age and health history.
You can usually walk-in to store pharmacies in drug stores and grocery stores without an appointment, but visit their website or call to confirm before you head out. Most health insurance is accepted and cost is low or free from some healthcare providers.
- Bartell Drugs immunization services
- Country Doctor Community Health Centers
- HealthPoint Clinics
- International Community Health Services
- NeighborCare Health clinics
- QFC pharmacies
- Safeway flu shots & immunizations
- Sea Mar Community Health Centers
- Seattle Indian Health Board Medical Services
- Walgreens immunization services
Find a vaccination clinic in King County. Includes free and low clinics, and for people without health insurance.
Find a public health department in Washington State on the membership list at National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
Other vaccination recommendations for children and adults
There are other vaccinations you may want to consider for you or family members.
- Vaccination can protect children from harmful diseases that can be serious or deadly. Read Recommended Vaccines by Age from the CDC. Low-cost vaccines for children under 19 are available through health care providers participating in the Washington State Childhood Vaccine Program.
- Adults may also be at risk for some diseases due to age, job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions. Protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off. Whooping cough and tetanus/diphtheria booster are typically updated in adults. Other vaccinations to consider as an adult include pneumonia, shingles (Zoster), and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Talk with your doctor about whether you need additional protection.
- Travelers to certain countries are advised to review their immunizations and update any that may be recommended.
Learn what other vaccines you may need from the CDC.