The beginning of flu season brings along with it many questions about flu shots: when to get them, how long are they good for, is the shot from last year still effective. Flu season lasts from the beginning of fall through the late spring, peaking around mid-winter. The flu shot is the most effective way to prevent catching the virus. Learn more about the flu shot today!
What is the flu shot?
The influenza virus affects millions of people per year as they contract the virus and experience symptoms including headache, chills, fever, nausea and persistent coughing and sneezing. The flu shot is the injection of a dead or weakened version of the current strain in order to let your body come into contact with the virus and learn how to fight and defeat it without developing any symptoms. After receiving the shot, you will be immune to the flu for the rest of the season. While you can still get sick with other acute illnesses, the flu is one that could have you missing valuable days of work or school.
When is the best time to get a flu shot?
The flu season begins in mid-September and runs through May, peaking sometime between January and March. Getting vaccinated early in the season is recommended for a number of reasons, including protection for more of the season and the amount of time the shot takes to become effective. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to set, giving your body immunity against the virus. Getting the flu shot early in the season gives your body more time to learn from the vaccine before the virus begins to make its way through your community. It is recommended by most medical professionals to get the flu shot before the end of October to give yourself plenty of time to acclimate.
Do I need multiple doses of the flu shot?
if you get your flu shot early in the season, your physician may recommend a second dose of the flu shot in order to provide you with full protection for the end of flu season. The vaccination is engineered to work for up to six months, which means if you got the shot in august, you may become vulnerable during the peak of flu season. Consult with your physician about whether a second flu shot would help give you protection for the entirety of flu season.