Why You Should Get Your Flu Shot Early
A flu shot helps protect you from this potentially serious illness, but it takes time to be fully effective. Since flu season is expected to start earlier than usual this year, you should already be making plans to get vaccinated. Keep the following information about flu shot timing in mind, so you understand the importance of getting your shot now.
When Should You Get Vaccinated?
Flu cases typically increase in November and peak from December through February, but this illness is already starting to show up. Flu vaccines take around two weeks to reach full effectiveness from this illness, so plan accordingly. In this two-week period, your immune system produces antibodies that shield you from the flu. With the flu going around earlier this year, you should plan on getting the flu vaccine by the end of October. This gives the vaccine enough time to gain effectiveness before flu season hits its peak.
Is It Too Early to Get Vaccinated?
While it’s possible to get a flu vaccine so early that its effectiveness wears off before the end of flu season, you don’t have to worry about that this year. Flu vaccines are already available and should be administered now in order to provide effective protection from the flu. Keep in mind that September and October are ideal times to get your flu vaccine. Supplies of this vaccine are generally readily available at this time, so you don’t have to be concerned about shortages. Getting this vaccine sooner rather than later also gives you more reliable protection from this illness. Although you can get your vaccine later on during flu season, this puts you at a higher risk of getting the flu until you’re vaccinated.
Is It Available Now?
Yes, this year’s flu vaccine is available now. When you get it now, you’ll have plenty of time for it to become effective before flu season is at its worst. After four to six weeks, antibodies toward the flu generally reach their peak. Once this happens, they tend to wane gradually. Getting your shot now helps ensure that you’ll stay well-protected from the flu throughout the seasonal peak in winter. Otherwise, you might wait too long and risk not being protected from this illness.
After getting your flu vaccine, you can still become sick with the flu during that two-week window of time before it becomes effective. Make sure that you wash your hands often and avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth, which helps reduce your risk of having this illness. Keep in mind that you can still catch the flu during flu season, but your chance of having serious complications from it is much lower when you have been vaccinated.
Get in for your flu shot early this year. We can help! Contact us at PrimeCare Urgent Care to learn more.