Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that can cause mild to severe illness and can lead to death in some cases. It can be spread easily through coughing, sneezing, and nasal secretions.1

What are the symptoms? 

Flu is different from the common cold and stomach virus. It may impact each person differently, but typical symptoms include:1

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Who can be impacted by the flu? 

While anyone can get the flu, it can be particularly serious for:1

  • People 65 years and older 
  • People with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease 
  • Pregnant women 
  • Young children

What is “flu season”? 

“Flu season” is the time of year that flu viruses are most common. In the northern hemisphere, ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October. If a person is unable to get vaccinated until November or later, vaccination is still recommended because flu most commonly peaks in February and significant activity can continue into May.3

How can I help protect myself? 

According to the CDC, the single best way to protect against the flu is for everyone 6 months of age and older to get vaccinated annually.1

Other everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of flu include:4

  • Washing your hands with soap and water
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Staying home if you are feeling sick

In his own words

I’ve always been a passionate advocate for vaccination throughout my career, even before coming to GSK as a vaccine research scientist. Flu vaccines are one of the most widely available vaccines – whether you receive it from your doctor, your local pharmacy, or employer.

Dr. Leondard Friedland

VP, Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health Vaccines, North America

What types of flu vaccinations are available? 

The available influenza vaccines include quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine, recombinant influenza vaccine, adjuvanted inactivated influenza vaccine, or live attenuated influenza vaccine.5

Are flu vaccinations effective? 

Annual vaccination is the best way to protect against flu and reduce disease severity and complications. The CDC estimates that flu vaccination during the 2019-2020 flu season helped prevent an estimated 7.5 million illnesses, 3.7 million flu-related medical visits, and 105,000 flu-related hospitalizations.How effective the flu vaccination is can depend on several factors and vary from season to season.7

How are flu vaccines manufactured? 

Today’s flu vaccines are made in chicken eggs, cell culture or through recombinant protein expression. Globally, egg-based manufacturing has been used for over 70 years and is the most common flu vaccine manufacturing process.8

Learn more about flu through the links below: 

Disclaimer: External sites linked are not endorsed by GSK. We are not responsible for information that is provided on these sites.

Flu is a Family Affair


1 CDC. Key Facts about Influenza (Flu). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm. Accessed June 2022. 

2 CDC. Flu & Young Children. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/children.htm. Accessed June 2022. 

3 CDC. Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: 2021-2022 Season. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2021-2022.htm. Accessed June 2022. 

4 CDC. Preventive Steps.www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm Accessed June 2022. 

5 CDC. Seasonal Flu Vaccines. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/flushot.htm. Accessed June 2022. 

6 CDC. Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Supply for the U.S. 2021-2022 Influenza Season. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaxsupply.htm. Accessed June 2022.

7 CDC. Vaccine Effectiveness: How Well Do Flu Vaccines Work?. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/vaccineeffect.htm. Accessed June 2022. 

8 CDC. How Influenza (Flu) Vaccines Are Made. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/how-fluvaccine-made.htm. Accessed June 2022.