Let’s Stick it to the Flu!

Everyone 6 months of age and greater should be vaccinated with rare exception. The influenza virus can lead to hospitalization and even death in rare cases. During flu season 90% of flu related deaths are in patients aged 65 and older. The annual flu shot is the best way to prevent yourself and others you care for from getting the flu this season.

Many people ask when they should get the flu shot. The Center for Disease control recommends being vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available or best by October. However, patients should continue to be vaccinated through flu season. This can be during January or later.

We also are asked if the flu vaccine is good immediately. It is not. In about two weeks you body will have developed antibodies to protect yourself.

Also you will need to be vaccinated every year because the flu vaccine that is circulating is constantly modifying and the vaccine will possibly be reformulated. In addition your body’s immune response will have decreased from the previous year’s vaccine. Also remember that the shot is protecting you against 3 or 4 flu viruses therefore even if it does not include the virus circulating your body’s immune response to the shot will help defend against “similar” virus strains.

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