As Fall has just fallen upon us, so has colder weather and flu season. Although flu season does not reach its peak until around December through February, that does not mean that you should wait to get your flu shot then. In fact, you should be getting it much earlier than that.
The flu is no joke, as it kills between 5,000 and 50,000 people in the United States every year. To prevent this, it is recommended to get a seasonal flu vaccination as soon as possible. One important thing to know is that the flu vaccine is not immediately effective. A flu shot usually takes about 2 to 4 weeks to become effective. Getting a flu shot during the peak of flu season can actually put you and your family at risk.
You cannot predict getting the flu, but you can do your best to prevent it. Although the flu vaccine is not 100% effective, getting a flu shot each year reduces your risk of becoming ill and lessens the severity of the flu. It’s also important to note the flu virus can adapt and become stronger over time which can make the flu shot you got last year not effective at all. This is why variations of the seasonal flu shot are becoming increasingly available.
The CDC strongly recommends anyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot. Anyone 65 and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions should get the flu vaccine as soon as possible. The flu often begins to increase around October and November so if you need a flu shot, contact your doctor immediately.
For more information on early flu shots, click here.
Article written by William Graves.