Now that the cooler weather is here, it’s time to think about getting your annual flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over 6 months of age get a vaccine this flu season. Studies indicate that the peak time for catching the flu is from October to as late as May. Getting your vaccine as early as possible is key to preventing sickness this winter and in the early spring.
Why should you get a flu shot?
Research shows that from 1976 to 2007, flu-associated deaths in the U.S. ranged from as low as 3,000 in a season to as high as 49,000. Even healthy individuals are able to get sick from the flu, and this can lead to hospitalization, or even death.
I was vaccinated last year. Why do I need to get a shot this year?
Your body’s immune response to the vaccination will decline gradually throughout the year. Therefore, a vaccine is required every year. Also, each year, the formulation of the vaccine is reviewed by experts to see if any changes need to be made for specific strains.
Where can I get a flu shot?
There are many locations where you can get a shot. Doctor’s offices, health departments, college campuses and even many pharmacies offer vaccinations.
Could I still get sick even though I got the vaccine?
Yes. However, a shot will help to decrease your risks of getting sick from a flu bug.
Also, if you do happen to get sick, the vaccine may be able to help lessen the severity of your symptoms.
Will the shot work right away?
No. It will take about two weeks for antibodies to develop in your body to protect you against the flu.
If you have additional questions about flu shots, be sure to contact your doctor’s office.