It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot
The best way to avoid getting sick from the flu is to get vaccinated. While the best time to get vaccinated is in September or October, it’s never too late to get your flu shot. Getting vaccinated in the early fall gives your body time to create the immune response you need to be protected during the peak flu season in your community.
That said, it’s tough to predict when the peak will hit. According to the CDC, the flu commonly peaks in the month of February but can remain a threat into the month of May. Thus, even though it’s December (or later) . . . it’s not too late to get vaccinated.
Flu activity is influenced by many factors: the part of the country you live in, how quickly the flu viruses are spreading, and which strains are most common. Flu viruses are constantly changing so how it spreads changes from season to season and year to year.
I’ve already had the flu so it’s too late to bother, right?
Not even close.
As flu viruses replicate, their genes mutate creating small differences that accumulate over time. This is called “antigenic drift” (good to know for your next trivia contest) and it’s the reason you can get the flu more than once.
Even if your body is invaded by the flu virus, fights it and wins, it’s possible to become exposed to a new strain and get the flu again.
This constant evolution is the reason the mix of strains in the flu vaccine are reviewed and updated every year. The vaccine contains what are believed to be the most common strains to provide the best coverage.
If you are a science nerd, or if you’re just looking to drop some random facts at your next holiday party, the US Food and Drug Administration provides a list of the strains included in the 2022-2023 vaccines.
The great news is that even if you get vaccinated and still end up with the flu, studies show your risk of being hospitalized or admitted to the ICU are dramatically lowered. This is important for people who are vulnerable for serious illnesses like young children, elderly people, and people with chronic health conditions like heart disease, COPD, or diabetes.
We want you to be well and to live your best life. The content is in this blog is provided for the purposes to educate and entertain you: our very important reader. It is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice from a trained healthcare professional.
If you have a medical condition or are under the care of a medical provider, please always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before undertaking a new health care regime. To that point, never disregard medical advice or delay treatment for a medical condition because of something you read on this site.
Listen to your care providers as they know you and your condition best. Thank you for reading!
The Team at BSDI