Should I get the seasonal flu shot?

Maybe you’re afraid of needles. Maybe you’re in great health. Maybe you just can’t be bothered. The seasonal flu vaccine is important, though. Not only is it useful for you, but it also helps those around you. If you’re convinced and looking to get vaccinated, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about getting a flu vaccination in Rome like how to get the flu shot in Rome, when you need to get it, where you can find English-speaking doctors to get your flu vaccine in Rome. If you’re still skeptical about the flu shot, read on to understand why you should get the vaccine and what some frequently asked questions about influenza are.


Why should I get the flu vaccine?


When it comes to autumn, the same question is always asked by our patients: ‘Is the flu vaccine necessary?’ The flu vaccine is a fundamental part of maintaining your immune system in the autumn and winter months. It reduces the risk of getting ill and may prevent the spread of the seasonal flu. Here five reasons that it’s important to get your flu vaccine this year:


  1. To take care of yourself. The flu vaccine can reduce the risk of getting the flu 40%-60%. How nice would it be to go all winter without getting the flu?

  2. To protect others. It’s not just about taking care of yourself, it’s also about taking care of your loved ones and others around you who are unable to get vaccinated due to age, certain health conditions, or other factors. If we all get vaccinated, we’re giving better protection to those who can’t!

  3. The flu vaccine changes according to the seasonal strains. Yep, each season (and even from the beginning to the end of the season) the flu virus transforms, meaning even if you’ve been previously vaccinated, you won’t be protected from new strains of the flu. In addition to this, your immune response weakens as time goes on, so the new flu vaccine will restore your level of protection against the virus.

  4. The vaccine reduces the risk of serious illness or death. Even if you do get the flu, studies have shown that having the vaccine can reduce the possibility of having serious or life-threatening flu complications. Illness presented from the flu can vary from a few missed days at work to hospitalizations for complications due to a weakened immune system to death. Getting the vaccine prepares your immune system and puts it at its best.

  5. The flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza. Even though there are other ways to reduce your risk of getting sick with the flu (like handwashing and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze), the most effective way is to get vaccinated.

What causes the flu?


The seasonal flu is caused by a virus that has four different strains. The virus is spread through close contact with a person carrying it and can be spread up to 6 feet away. Scientists say it is spread through droplets released when infected people cough, sneeze or talk that land in the mouths and noses of or are inhaled into the lungs of those not infected. It can also be spread when an uninfected person touches a surface with the virus on it and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth, but this is less common.


What are the flu symptoms?


Symptoms of the flu range from mild to severe, and it can sometimes cause death. People infected with the influenza virus may experience:

  • Cough

  • Fever

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Body or muscle aches and pains

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Vomiting or diarrhea (some adults, but this is more common in children

Symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to just under two weeks. If you think you or your child may have the flu, stay home to prevent others from getting sick as it is most contagious within the first 3-4 days of infection.


Who needs the flu vaccine?

The influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is especially important for certain people considered at high risk if they are infected with the flu virus.

  • People 65 and over

  • Children younger than 2

  • Those with preexisting conditions such as asthma, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, blood disorders, chronic lung disease, endocrine disorders, heart disease, kidney diseases and liver disorders, and metabolic disorders

  • Those with a body mass index [BMI] of 40 or more

  • Those under 19 who are on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications

  • Those with weakened immune systems due to disease or medications

  • Those who have had a stroke

  • Those who are pregnant and those up to 2 weeks postpartum

  • Those living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

To understand if you are contraindicated for the flu vaccine, please visit the CDC.


Should my children get the flu shot?


Yes! Children 6 months and older can be vaccinated.


Where can I get the flu shot?


You can get the flu vaccine at many pharmacies or clinics beginning in mid-October in Italy. You can easily make your appointment by contacting us on this page. FirstMed Clinic is amongst the first healthcare facilities to launch the flu vaccine campaign in Italy, and you can find care here with English-speaking doctors, medical personnel, and staff.


When is the best time to get my flu vaccine?


You should get your flu shot annually around mid-October/early November. The reason for this is because flu season begins each year near fall and winter, and last year’s vaccine will not offer you sufficient protection. As the virus adapts and mutates each year, vaccines are updated to ensure you get the best possible protection.


How long does the flu vaccine last?


Full coverage of the flu vaccine develops approximately 10-14 days following the injection. The protection given from the flu vaccine has a duration of six months, which is why it is essential to get the yearly flu shot to ensure you're covered against the most recent strains of the virus.


Does getting a flu shot help if I already have the flu?


If you feel sick or are unwell, you should speak with your doctor to evaluate when the best time is for you to be vaccinated. In general, the flu vaccine is given to those who are healthy and well. This means that if you already have the flu, it may be best to wait until you have recovered to get the flu vaccine.


Remember, it’s also advisable to stay home from work and isolate yourself or keep your children home from school if you suspect that you or your children are ill. If you need to leave home while ill, wear a face mask, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, use and properly dispose of tissues, and wash or sanitize your hands often to reduce the spread of the virus.



Most people do not need to take antiviral medication or see a doctor when they get influenza but you should contact your doctor if your symptoms are severe, if you are in an at-risk category, or get emergency medical care if you express any of these emergency symptoms.


Is it safe to get the influenza and Covid-19 vaccine at the same time?


Although the existing data is limited, both the CDC and the Italian Ministry of Health suggest that it is safe to have both vaccines done at the same time. Talk to your doctor to decide if this could be right for you.


Will a flu vaccine protect me against covid-19?


No. The flu vaccine protects against influenza and the Covid-19 vaccine protects against Covid-19. Although the two illnesses may have similar symptomatic expressions, their respective vaccine coverages do not cross over one to the other.


What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?


The vaccine cannot give you the flu. Its side effects are generally temporary and less severe than the symptoms of the illness. Common side effects experienced:

  • Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site

  • Mild headache

  • Fever

  • Muscle pain

  • Nausea

  • Tiredness

Additionally, you can still develop influenza if you were exposed to the virus shortly before or directly following the vaccine and before your body has fully developed the proper antibodies.


How can I protect myself against influenza?


The best protection against the flu is to get vaccinated. Other ways to reduce your chances of getting ill are regular handwashing and hand sanitizing, avoiding contact with your eyes, nose and mouth around those who have expressed flu symptoms or when in public, and avoiding contact with those who are sick.


What are some key facts about the seasonal flu vaccine?

  • The flu vaccine protects against influenza types A and B which form the four strains that cause illness in humans.

  • The flu vaccine acts by prompting your body to form antibodies that protect against the four strains of the flu virus.

  • Many types of influenza vaccines exist. Talk to your doctor to find out which one may work best for you.


Where can I learn more about getting a flu vaccine?


For more information about getting a flu shot in Rome, please send an email to clinic@firstmedcenters.it, or call us at (+39) 06 40 06 14 02.





55 views