Getting a flu shot helps you avoid getting the flu, or if you do get it, can make the reaction milder. It also reduces your risk of spreading it to others – especially those whose health is compromised and at risk of being hospitalized.
Want to know why you need to get a flu shot every year and when is the best time to get your vaccination? Read on my friends for more information!
Who Should Get Vaccinated?
The CDC recommends everyone over 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine in order to prevent serious complications from getting the flu for those at risk.
Different flu vaccines are approved for use in people in different age groups. See the CDC website for specific guidance.
When Should You Get Vaccinated?
For adults, especially anyone age 65 or older, the best time to get vaccinated is generally in September or October.
Why? The protection decreases over time so getting vaccinated earlier than this can mean you aren’t fully protected at the end of the flu season.
For children, two doses are sometimes needed so they should get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available since the second dose may need to be given 4 weeks after the first.
Anyone in the third trimester of pregnancy should also consider getting vaccinated early to help protect their infants during the first months of life when they are too young to be vaccinated.
Where Can I Get A Vaccine?
Fortunately there are a multitude of places you can find a flu vaccine. Most doctor’s offices and medical clinics have them available. If you aren’t connected with a medical practice, many pharmacies, government health departments, college health centers, and some workplaces also offer the vaccine.
Do I REALLY Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year?
Yes! As mentioned, the effectiveness of the vaccine diminishes over time so an annual flu shot offers maximum protection. Also, viruses are tricky little buggers and constantly changing. Every year researchers figure out which virus strains will be most common in the upcoming flu season and create a vaccine to match.
Does The Vaccine Work Immediately?
This is why timing is important for getting the vaccine. It takes roughly two weeks for your body to create antibodies and protect you against getting the flu. Getting it before the end of October protects you before the peak flu seasons begins. If you missed October, that’s okay! It’s still advantageous to get a vaccine late rather than not at all.
How Can I Avoid Getting The Flu?
In addition to getting the vaccine, do the things that keep your immune system operating at its best: eat a healthy balanced diet that includes fruit and vegetables, move your body, and reduce stress. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. If you do get sick, avoid others to prevent spreading the virus.
Thank you for reading! Information in this article was sourced by the CDC.