The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual flu shots for everyone 6 months and older. According to the CDC, flu vaccines are the best way to prevent contracting the virus. Flu vaccines are safe and effective and so common they are given out each year at doctor’s offices, healthcare clinics, pharmacies, and some businesses have flu shots administered at their offices.
Most adults only need one flu shot per year, but children that are ages 6 months to 8 years could need several doses if it is their first-ever flu shot.
How can you tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19?
It is important to note that the flu shot will NOT protect you from COVID-19, but getting a flu shot is crucial because the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are very similar. A flu shot could reduce symptoms that might be confused with those caused by COVID-19. A flu shot could reduce the symptoms of the flu, so if those same symptoms start to manifest, it might be time for a COVID-19 test.
When does flu season start and stop?
In the United States, flu season generally begins in October and can last as late as May. The majority of flu cases are reported during that time, and getting a flu shot before flu season is recommended.
Should I get a flu shot?
Anyone needing a flu shot should get it before flu season begins. Most healthcare clinics and doctor’s offices recommend getting a flu shot before the illness can rear its ugly head late in the year. It generally takes two weeks before the vaccination starts working, however, if you forget to get the shot before the season begins, it is still beneficial to receive it in the fall or winter.
Influenza strains are constantly evolving and changing. As a matter of fact, they can change each season, and the vaccine you take is effective only for the current season, making it important to get vaccinated each year. Taking one flu vaccine will not protect you for the rest of your life.
When is the earliest time to get a flu shot?
Getting a flu shot before the illness starts spreading in your community is highly recommended. Knowing that it takes two weeks after the shot for antibodies to build up in the body, you should get the shot a few weeks before flu season begins in October. Mark your calendar to get vaccinated early in fall.
Who is at high risk during the flu season?
Any child that is younger than 6 months old should not get the vaccine because they are too young. Anyone with severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine, or any ingredient used in the vaccine, should not get the flu vaccine. Also, egg allergies, and anyone with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) should not get the vaccine.
Should pregnant women get the flu shot?
Yes, it is absolutely safe for pregnant women to receive a flu shot. The CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that all pregnant women get the flu shot, regardless of their trimester.
With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the world population, getting a flu shot could help relieve the stress of an already depleted and burdened healthcare system by helping your doctor determine the source of your illness.