Daniel Hussar, PhD, Remington Professor of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences, said that individuals as young as six months old benefit most from the vaccination when given in the fall because their bodies have time to build up immunity to last an entire flu season - which typically runs through May.
"When the flu comes, it's never at a convenient time," Dr. Hussar said.
"While everyone should get a flu vaccine this season, it's especially important for infants, children, pregnant women, and seniors because they are most vulnerable to developing serious complications - like pneumonia - if they catch the flu," he said.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that getting a flu shot reduced the risk of flu-related hospitalization by 71.4 percent for all adults and 76.8 percent for those over age 50 during the 2011-12 flu season.
The CDC estimates deaths associated with the flu number between 3,000 and 49,000 people each year.
Dr. Hussar compiled a list of key facts people need to know regarding flu immunizations.
He said that pregnant women are safe. Pregnancy should not be a restriction to receiving a flu shot as it protects the mother and her baby for several months into its life.
It's never too late. While people are encouraged to receive their flu shots in early fall, the immunization still provides benefits to individuals who wait until December or January to get vaccinated.
Healthy children need protection. Between 2004 and 2012, flu complications killed 830 children in the US, many of whom were otherwise healthy, according to the CDC.
He said that "flu caused by vaccination" myth. The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that cannot transmit infection. That means people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway, they just assume the shot caused their illness.