As hard as we try to believe summer isn’t departing, the fact is we’re seeing cooler weather and signs are out at pharmacies and health clinic for “Come in for a flu shot.”
Yes, the flu season can begin as early as October and run through late May, according to the CDC. And that’s why health officials are encouraging everyone 6 months and older to get an annual flu vaccine by October.
The body needs time to develop a full protection against the flu after receiving the vaccination – about two weeks, so now is actually a prime time to go in for one.
Getting your annual flu shot will not only protect you, but the people around you, whether at home, work or school.
The flu, a contagious respiratory disease can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. Even if you are healthy, you can fall victim to serious complications of the flu.
If you’re thinking, “I already received a flu shot last season,” know that it won’t protect you this season. The flu virus constantly changes and the flu vaccine is made each year to address the most common strains of the flu virus.
People who are at a high risk of developing serious complications (like pneumonia) and who have certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease are highly encouraged to get vaccinated. This also applies to pregnant women, people younger than 5, people 65 years and older, and people who live with or care for others at high risk of developing serious complications.
To find the flu vaccine available in your area, the CDC has advised to use the HealthMap Vaccine Finder.
Photo by the United States Marine Corp, via Wikimedia Commons.