Flu season is in full force between October and May, with most cases reported from late December to mid-March. While it is ideal to get a flu shot before the season ramps up (preferably before the end of October), it is not too late to get vaccinated later into the flu season to still benefit from the protection the shot offers.
Who should get a flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is safe and recommended for anyone aged six months or older. People with a greater risk of complications from the flu are encouraged to get the vaccine as early as possible in the flu season.
Children, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and anyone with a compromised immune system are at higher risk of complications from the flu.
How does the flu vaccine work?
The flu shot prepares the body to fight the flu virus. It uses antibodies to resist and fight germs when someone is exposed to them. The flu vaccine is a bit different each season, based on the particular strains of flu expected to strike for that particular year.
Contrary to what some believe, the vaccine doesn’t cause the flu. It does, however, take up to two weeks to start working. Some people mistakenly believe that they catch the virus from the shot when instead, they are exposed to the virus before they have the proper antibodies to fight it.
While flu vaccines aren’t 100% effective, they can reduce the risk of contracting the flu and minimize the severity and duration of a bout with the flu.
Is it too late to get the flu shot now?
“Better late than never” certainly holds true for the flu shot. While it’s ideal to get it early in the season, it can certainly offer protection later in the season and reduce the impact, should the flu hit.
Don’t wait until the symptoms appear to get the shot. Since it can take up to two weeks for the benefits to kick in, get the flu shot now and take measures like careful handwashing to protect against germs.
CareWell offers flu shots anytime during flu season. Visit a clinic today to start the clock on flu protection.