On the Mayo Clinic Radio podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, shares recommendations on getting a flu shot, the importance of good hand-washing techniques, and the potential for a universal flu vaccine. This interview originally aired Nov. 2, 2019. Influenza is a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, particularly in young children, older adults and people with certain medical conditions. Getting a flu shot — though not 100% effective — is the best way to prevent the misery of the flu and its complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months or older be vaccinated annually against the flu.