The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) tells us 20% of Americans get the “flu” (influenza) every year. Over 200,000 people are hospitalized every year from the flu. Anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year are flu related. Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step to protect you from the flu. Your protection begins within two weeks of getting the flu shot. Getting the flu shot does not cause the flu! Who should get a flu shot? Everyone 6 months or older. Those at high risk to develop serious complications from the flu, young children less then 5 years and especially less than 2.