Every year you vow to get vaccinated – especially if the flu bug has worked its way through your house … but holiday planning and end-of-the-year craziness got in your way again!
What can you do? Hold your breath and hope for the best until the flu season ends?
As you are making January plans, you may wonder if it is too late to get your flu shot to help prevent being stung by the flu bug again.
Take heart, the team at South Louisiana Medical Associates and other medical experts agree taking action today is better than waiting and worrying through May.
“Any time you get a flu shot is better than not getting a flu shot,” said Jorge P. Parada, MD, a professor of medicine and director of the infection control program at Loyola University in Chicago, in an article published in Everyday Health.
Parada noted that getting your flu shot in mid-October may give you the best chance of avoiding the flu; however, he added there is concern about getting your shot too early due to what physicians call waning immunity.
According to KidsHealth.org, most flu cases happen from late December to early March, with flu vaccinations usually being offered from September through mid-November to allow your body to build up its defenses against the virus before flu season kicks into high gear.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a flu shot as soon as it becomes available in your community as it takes about two weeks for the shot to work.
GET THE FLU FACTS
- Late is better than never. If you still haven’t gotten your flu shot, you still have time. Getting your shot this month will still offer some protection for the majority of the flu season.
- Get a flu shot even if you’ve already had the flu. There are multiple strains of the flu floating about so don’t assume you should not get your annual vaccination just because you already had the flu in November. Do you really want to go through that again if you come across another strain in February?
- Talk to your doctor about getting a booster. If you’re older than 65 and got the flu shot early, you can get a booster if the flu is still raging in March. Parada suggests that seniors and others in higher-risk groups talk to their doctor about getting extra flu protection later in the season.
- Should you get a flu shot? Likely, yes, as the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older.
Find preventions tips, symptoms to watch for, learn about the latest advances in flu vaccination efforts, and find where you can get a flu shot by visiting Flu.gov.