Have you been vaccinated for flu?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

By Mayo Clinic staff

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will observe National Influenza Vaccination Week Dec. 5–11, a call to all people in the U.S. to get vaccinated for flu if they have not already done so.

If you have cancer, are being treated for cancer, or are a cancer survivor, you are at increased risk for flu complications. If you or someone you live with falls into one of these categories, it's important to get vaccinated for flu.

The flu, or influenza, is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system: the nose, throat and lungs. While flu resolves on its own in most cases, its complications can be deadly.

Injectable flu vaccinations, or flu shots, are approved for use in people with cancer and other health conditions, according to the CDC. The flu shot has a long, established safety record in people with cancer.

"It's recommended that everyone complete their flu vaccination by October," says Priya Sampathkumar, M.D., a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist.

But it's not too late to get your flu shot, and it's safe to get vaccinated for flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

"I encourage you, especially those of you who need a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine because you're immunosuppressed, when you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you should get your flu vaccine," says Dr. Sampathkumar.

Watch Dr. Sampathkumar discuss flu vaccination in this video:

Also, read "Immunocompromised? Here are 5 ways to protect yourself from COVID-19."