Have asthma? You need a flu shot

One in 12 New Yorkers has asthma.

How does flu make Asthma Worse?

When you have asthma your airways are already somewhat swollen and more easily infected. More serious infections are possible when airways are already weakened.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It causes breathing problems such as wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. The muscles around the airways inside the lungs tighten and become red and swollen. This swelling causes the airways to produce lots of thick mucus and clogs the airways. This makes it hard to breathe. Tobacco smoke, the common cold, flu and allergies are just a few things that can make asthma worse. You may not always know what causes your asthma but you and your doctor can work together to control your asthma.

What is flu?

Flu (Influenza) is an infection that affects your nose, throat and lungs. It can make you sick for a week or longer with coughing, fever, body aches, and more. Flu can lead to pneumonia. Flu is easily spread.

Is the flu shot safe?

Yes the flu shot is safe. Flu shots do not contain a live virus so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot.

Do I need to get a flu shot every year?

Yes, you need to get a flu shot every year. The flu viruses change from year to year, so the vaccine needs to be different each year to protect you. Flu season can start as early as October, making October through December the best time to get vaccinated. But you can still get vaccinated in December or later because flu season can last as late as May. Any protection against the flu is better than no protection!

Should my family get a flu shot too?

Yes, you and your family should get a flu shot, especially if anyone in the family has asthma. Because the flu is easily spread, it makes sense for everyone in the family to get a flu shot. Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to keep healthy and prevent worsening of asthma symptoms during the flu season.

Where do I get the flu shot?

Talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot for you and your child. You can also find out more information about where you can get a flu shot in your community by calling your local health department or contacting the additional resources listed on the back of this brochure.

Resources for all NYS Residents:

Additional information for NYC Residents: