We Want You to Know
Getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. When you get vaccinated, you reduce your risk of getting sick with flu and possibly being hospitalized or dying from flu. This season, getting a flu vaccine has the added benefit of reducing the overall burden on the health care system and saving medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients.
The importance of protecting yourself from the Flu and living with HIV is critical! People with HIV—especially those who have a very low CD4 cell count or who are not taking antiretroviral therapy—are at high risk for serious flu-related complications. For this reason, it is especially important that people with HIV get a flu shot annually. (The nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended for people with HIV.)
In addition to getting a flu shot every year, people with HIV should take the same everyday preventive actions CDC recommends of everyone, including avoiding people who are sick, covering coughs, and washing hands often.
We encourage you to learn more about the seasonal flu, take steps to protect yourself, and educate others. Here are some resources to help you:
- Read our HIV Basics page: Flu and People with HIV
- Read CDC’s page on how HIV increases your risk of developing serious flu-related complications.
- Visit vaccines.gov for important information about the flu vaccine and different ways to pay for vaccines.
- Use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a flu vaccine in your area.
- If you have insurance, you can get a discounted or free flu shot almost anywhere, including local pharmacies, chain pharmacies and your primary care doctor’s office. If you go to urgent care, the shot itself might be free or discounted, but you‘ll likely have to pay the copay. Any questions contact your primary health care provider today!