Flu season typically begins in October or November, peaks in January or February and can continue through May. Given that it takes two weeks for the vaccination to build the antibodies necessary for protection, October is the best time to get a flu shot.
What is the flu?
Seasonal Influenza is caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It is believed to spread mainly from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes.
Symptoms can include cough, runny nose and sore throat. Unlike other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the flu can cause serious illness, especially in the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with chronic medical conditions.
Who should get vaccinated?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone who wants to reduce their risk of the flu is encouraged to get vaccinated.
Older children and adults only require a single shot each year. However, children under age 9 need two shots 1 month apart the first time they receive flu vaccine or if they have not previously received two doses during one flu season.
You should definitely get a flu shot every year if you:
• Are 50 or older
• Are a health care worker
• Have chronic lung or heart disease
• Have sickle cell anemia or other hemoglobinopathies
• Live in a nursing home or extended care facilities
• Live with people who have chronic health problems
• Have kidney disease, anemia, severe asthma, diabetes, or chronic liver disease
• Have weakened immune system (including those with cancer or HIV/AIDS)
• Are a pregnant woman
• Are a woman who will be pregnant during flu season
Most people achieve protection from the flu approximately 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine.
If you have any questions about flu shots or anything else health related, please call our clinic and ask to speak with one of our doctors.