Only high-risk folks need the flu shot. False. Everybody needs it. The government recommends that all Americans 6 months and older get vaccinated. It's particularly important for young children, older people, and those with weakened immune systems. "Sometimes the vaccine isn't a perfect match, but at the very least, it provides partial protection," Schaffner says. "That's very important because it keeps a mild illness from turning into a serious one. We see gravely ill people coming into our ER and being sent to the intensive care unit because they weren't vaccinated. If they had been, they might have been at home miserable—but they wouldn't have been on a stretcher or [been] put on a ventilator."