Flu

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Get your Flu Shot Today

No cost with most insurance* No appointment needed

Preventing the flu is easier than treating it.

Here are simple steps you can take.

Get your flu shot

CDC recommends everyone get a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.

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Stop the spread of germs

Taking simple actions such as washing your hands, avoiding contact with sick people and knowing when to get rest can help.

People at High Risk from the Flu

Anyone can get sick (even healthy people), and serious problems related to flu can happen
at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious complications if they
get sick. People at high risk of flu complications include:

  • image ofPeople 65 & Older
    People 65 & Older
  • image ofPregnant Women
    Pregnant Women
  • image ofYoung Children*
    Young Children*
  • image ofPeople with Chronic Health Conditions
    People with Chronic Health Conditions
  • image ofPeople living in long term care or nursing homes
    People living in long term care or nursing homes

Flu symptoms

Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms.
  • Fever or chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Vomiting/diarrhea

Already feeling symptoms?

If you get the flu, certain over-the-counter medication can be used to treat your illness. If you have a prescription from your doctor, be sure to take the medication as prescribed.

When used for treatment, these medications can mean the difference between a milder or a more serious illness, such as pneumonia, possibly resulting in a hospital stay.

CDC recommends prompt treatment for people who may have the flu, feel flu-like symptoms, or who are at high risk of serious flu complications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who should get the flu vaccine?

Everyone 6 months and older should receive a yearly flu vaccine, with rare exceptions. The flu vaccine causes your body to make antibodies that fight the flu, decreasing your risk of becoming sick with the flu. Since the viruses in the vaccine are not live, they cannot cause the flu. The flu vaccine is recommended annually, as immunity decreases over time. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be effective, so it is important to get the vaccine before the flu starts spreading in your area.

What are the different types of flu vaccines?

There are several different types of flu vaccines available. Rite Aid offers the following flu vaccines:

Quadrivalent flu vaccine - this vaccine protects against two Influenza A strains and two Influenza B strains. 

For those 65 years of age and older, there are two types of flu vaccines that are designed to provide a greater immune response.

  • High-dose flu vaccine - this vaccine contains four times more antigen than standard dose flu vaccines.
  • Adjuvanted flu vaccine - this vaccine contains an ingredient that provides a stronger immune response. 

Ask your Rite Aid pharmacist which vaccine is right for you.

What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?

Common side effects of the flu vaccine include:  soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, fever, headache, nausea, and muscle aches. 

Less common side effects may include: fainting, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and allergic reactions (e.g., Egg allergy). 

Egg Allergy: Since eggs are used in the production of some flu vaccines, those with a life-threatening egg allergy should only receive a flu shot in a medical facility that is prepared to handle a severe allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, swelling of the eyes or lips, wheezing).  Those who have experienced only hives from a flu shot may still receive the vaccine.

Can I still get the flu if I have been vaccinated?

Yes. Those who have been vaccinated may still get the flu. This can be caused by one or more of the following:

  • Exposure to the virus before vaccination
  • Exposure to the virus during the two-week period after receiving vaccination, or before immunity develops.
  • Exposure to flu strains that may be circulating and are not included in the flu vaccine.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews the flu data and determines the combination of viruses most likely to prevent the flu each year. Despite the amount of research that goes into the flu vaccine composition, the virus is constantly changing. Therefore, the vaccine may not be a perfect match to the current circulating virus. The good news is, those who have been vaccinated generally have a milder case of flu than those who are unvaccinated.

What are the symptoms?

Common flu symptoms may include fever or chills, muscle aches, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache and fatigue/tiredness. If you have flu symptoms get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and manage symptoms with over-the-counter OTC medications when appropriate. If symptoms continue to worsen, contact your healthcare provider.

Are there medicines to treat the flu?

There are several products available to treat flu symptoms. Prescription medications can help lessen fever and flu symptoms, shorten the length of flu illness, and reduce the risk of complications. It is best if they are taken within 2 days of the start of flu symptoms. The four FDA approved prescription medications for the treatment of flu are oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu®), zanamivir (Relenza®), peramivir (Rapivab®), and baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza®).

OTC medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to treat fever, headache, body aches, and sore throat. Products containing dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and/or guaifenesin (an expectorant) are helpful for cough. Runny/stuffy nose symptoms can be treated with an antihistamine and/or decongestant. 

Be sure to always read the product label to understand the active ingredient(s), uses, warnings, doses, and directions. For questions and help with product selection, talk to your Rite Aid pharmacist or other healthcare professional.

What should I do if I get sick?

When you are sick, you should stay at home, wash your hands often and avoid contact with other people to minimize the chance of infecting others. You may return to work, school, etc. once you have been without a fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications).

If you have flu symptoms and are in a high risk group, contact your healthcare provider. If you are not in a high risk group but have symptoms, get plenty of rest and drink fluids, and manage symptoms with Over-the-counter (OTC) medications when appropriate. People diagnosed with the flu or with suspected flu infection and at high risk of serious flu complications should seek treatment immediately.

For questions and help with product selection, consult your Rite Aid pharmacist or other healthcare professional. 

*Vaccines available while supplies last. Age restrictions may apply in some states. See pharmacist for details.