Learn more about the flu vaccine's effectiveness Will the flu vaccine make me sick?
The virus used in the flu shot is a dead virus, Gupta says. "You cannot get the flu from a flu shot." But your body's immune system will react, and that can make you feel pain in your arm or feel less than 100 percent for a few days.
Is there a flu vaccine shortage?
While CNN has heard reports of vaccine shortages in some areas, manufacturers say there are vaccines available for anyone who wants to get a flu shot.
There was a temporary delay in new shipments of the antiviral medicine Tamiflu due to an increased demand, according to a spokeswoman. Tamiflu can help reduce the severity and length of flu symptoms if taken early.
I'm sold! Is it too late to get the vaccine?
In one word: no. Keep in mind that it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in your body and provide protection against the virus, the CDC says.
How can I avoid getting the flu in the first place?
It's disturbing to think about, but flu germs can spread up to 6 feet through coughs and sneezes. They can also live on surfaces for up to eight hours.
Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician and mother of two, recommends practicing good "social distancing." This means canceling parties or dates if someone is sick and avoiding large crowds (like at the movies or going out to dinner) if your community has been hit hard by the virus.
It's also a good idea to practice proper hand-washing -- for at least 20 seconds several times a day. And wiping handles, counters and remotes daily with hot soapy water or disinfectant will kill any germs that linger.