Ordinarily at this time of year I say you should get your flu vaccine, and let you know I’ve just gotten mine. Due to an intense flurry of recent travel, I am obligated to say I am about to get mine — but the rest of the narrative is quite perennial.
The flu vaccine is far from perfect, but vastly better than no protection. When the correspondence between vaccine and circulating flu is poor, protection is limited. Last year’s vaccine, for example, reduced risk by about 40 percent overall. When the correspondence is better, as expected this year, risk is generally reduced by more than half. And despite what you may have heard to the contrary, the flu shot cannot give you the flu (there is no live virus in the vaccine), and it is very safe.