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Best Month To Get Your Flu Shot

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When Is The Best Time To Get The Flu Shot

Yes, doctors say now is the best time to get your flu shot. Heres what else to know this season

The flu shot is available a lot sooner than you might think. Sometimes, you can get the vaccine starting at the very end of August, but more often it drops in pharmacies and doctors offices in mid-September or early October.

And that happens to be perfect timing, as October is ideal, according to Dr. Adalja. This timing decreases the risk of the vaccination wearing off before flu season really peaks. But he also said that if the only time you can get is before October, that’s okay too. It’s better to get the vaccination early than to not get it at all.

While it may seem alarmist to get your flu shot ASAP, it really can save you from a dreadful few weeks or even a serious illness that sends you to the hospital. Ive seen far too many disasters in people who think they can time , Dr. Poland says. “People either forget about getting the vaccine or procrastinate it. Then they start seeing their neighbors and coworkers get sick and decide it’s time. But at that point, it could already be too late.”

Remind Me Why Get A Flu Shot Each Year

Influenza viruses change each year and the vaccine is updated to keep up with these changes. This year, for example, the vaccine protects against two different strains than the 2018 vaccine.

Our bodys immune response to the vaccine also wanes over time. So even if you were vaccinated last winter, you may no longer be fully protected 18 months later, depending on your age and your response to the last vaccination.

There Are A Few Reasons For Why The Annual Flu Shot Doesn’t Last Longer

Yep, one of the downsides of the flu shot is that it’s an annual shot. There are a few things going on here. One is that your immune protection from a vaccine declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed to give you peak coverage, per the CDC.

Then theres also this to consider, according to Dr. Adalja: The virus mutates away from the vaccine. The strains contained in a vaccine may no longer be relevant in the next season. Basically, the flu vaccine is different every year to target the most common strains that researchers think will be circulating, so last years vaccine is unlikely to do much for you this year. This is also why the flu shot isn’t a perfect match it’s based on predicted strains before the season starts.

Also Check: 2 Flu Shots In One Month

Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have A Latex Allergy

Influenza vaccines used in Australia dont contain latex and are safe for people with a latex allergy or sensitivity. While the product information for Fluarix Tetra and Fluad Quad state that some presentations of the vaccine cannot be considered latex-free, these presentations are actually not supplied in Australia.

Getting A Flu Vaccine During The Covid

How to Prevent the Spread of Flu Germs

Yes. Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your familys health every year. Take recommended precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19 while getting your flu vaccine.

Yes. Wearing a mask and physical distancing can help protect you and others from respiratory viruses, like flu and the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the best way to reduce your risk of flu illness and its potentially serious complications is for everyone 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine each year. By getting a flu vaccine, you may also be protecting people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

Yes, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time.

Even though both vaccines can be given at the same visit, people should follow the recommended schedule for either vaccine: If you havent gotten your currently recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine, get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can, and ideally get a flu vaccine by the end of October.

While limited data exist on giving COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines, including flu vaccines, experience with giving other vaccines together has shown the way our bodies develop protection and possible side effects are generally similar whether vaccines are given alone or with other vaccines.

If you have concerns about getting both vaccines at the same time, you should speak with a health care provider.

Recommended Reading: Rite Aid Flu Shot Times

Is The Flu Vaccine Safe

Yes. Flu vaccines have been used for over 50 years and have been safely given to hundreds of millions of people, including pregnant people. Flu vaccines, like all vaccines used in the U.S., are carefully monitored for safety through the U.S. vaccine monitoring systems .

Find answers to more questions about vaccine safety.

Can A Flu Vaccine Give Me The Flu

No. The way that flu vaccines are made, they cannot cause the flu. Flu shots are made from either flu viruses that have been inactivated OR with proteins from a flu virus. .

Nasal spray flu vaccine is made with weakened live flu viruses, and also cannot cause the flu. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they can only cause flu infection at the cooler temperatures found in your nose. These viruses cannot infect your lungs or other warmer areas of your body.

While some people may get mild side effects from the flu shot like a sore arm, a headache, muscle aches or a low fever, those side effects usually begin soon after the shot and only last 1 -2 days. These are actually signs that the vaccine is working and your body is building immunity.

Also Check: Can You Donate Blood After Getting The Flu Shot

Understanding The Flu Vaccine

Get the facts about the flu vaccine and how it can help keep your family healthy each year

The flu season seemed milder during the COVID-19 pandemic, as fewer people got infected or were hospitalized with the flu. Experts are studying why that might be. It could be tied to public health measures that protect against coronavirus, as they also protect against the flu. These include wearing masks in public, social distancing, and lack of travel. Increased flu vaccination rates also might have helped.

COVID-19 is getting lots of attention now, but many people get very sick or even die from the flu every year. So it’s still important to get a flu vaccine each year.

Should I Wait To Get A Flu Shot If I’m Getting A Covid Vaccine Or Booster

Tis the season for… flu shots

There’s no need to choose. Not only should you be vaccinated against both COVID and influenza, but you can even get the shots on the same day if you like.

When the COVID vaccines first became available, people were advised not to get any other vaccines for at least two weeks afterwards. That was because the COVID shots were so new that it was important to keep track of what side effects they were causing.

But the COVID vaccine has proved to be extraordinarily safe, and experts now say that it’s fine to get other vaccines at the same time or soon afterwards. In fact, in September, two major pharmaceutical companies and Modernaannounced that they were developing combined COVID booster and flu vaccine shots. The new combos, though, won’t be available in time for this flu season.

Experts advise that if you do get a COVID shot and a flu shot on the same day that you don’t have them both in the same arm to minimize soreness.

Read Also: What Is A Treatment For The Flu

Factors In Flu Shot Effectiveness

Influenza viruses are constantly changing and evolving rapidly. Circulating influenza viruses can mutate from one season to the next.

Researchers need to select the specific influenza viruses to include in the vaccine many months before flu season begins. This means whats in the vaccine may not always match whats actually circulating during flu season. This can decrease the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine.

Age can also play a role in vaccine efficacy because your immune system tends to become weaker as you age. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a high-dose flu vaccine for people 65 and older.

The higher dose is aimed at providing a better immune response and therefore better protection within this age group. for those over 65 with the high-dose vaccine.

The CDC also recommends that some children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years receive two doses of the influenza vaccine during the first season in which theyre vaccinated in order to have sufficient protection.

Its still possible to get the flu after being vaccinated, but research has shown that the illness may be less severe and that people who receive a flu shot may be less likely to be admitted to the hospital if they get the flu.

What Is The Cell

The production of influenza vaccines traditionally involves hens eggs. However, there is a different method for cell-based influenza vaccines such as Flucelvax Quad, the only cell-based flu vaccine approved for use in Australia. Its approved for use in people aged 9 years and older but has not been added to the National Immunisation Program schedule.

Studies show that cell-based vaccines have a similar efficacy and safety profile to standard flu vaccines. Normally, neither type is recommended over the other.

However, standard flu vaccines are preferred for use in pregnancy because a large body of evidence supports their safety for pregnant women. The safety of cell-based flu vaccines during pregnancy hasnt been assessed.

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Seasonal Flu And Covid

Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus and seasonal flu is caused by infection with one of many influenza viruses that spread annually among people.

Because some symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, people may need to be tested to tell what virus is causing their illness. People can be infected with both a flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time. In general, COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. Compared with people who have flu infections, people who have COVID-19 can take longer to show symptoms and be contagious for longer. This FAQ page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.

Yes. It is possible to have flu and other respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this is. Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.

Your health care professional may order a test to help confirm whether you have flu or COVID-19 or some other illness. Get more information on COVID-19 and flu testing and symptoms of COVID-19 and flu.

Can I Get The Influenza Vaccine And Covid


You can get the Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine but not on the same day. You should wait at least 7 days between receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.

You arent required to have the vaccines in any particular order. The order will likely depend on vaccine availability, so you may receive whichever vaccine you have access to first.

If youre having the Pfizer vaccine, this means you may be able to get a flu vaccination in between the 2 doses, if appropriate.

In special cases, your healthcare provider may consider shortening the time period between the different vaccines or they may suggest you receive the vaccines on the same day. This will only be considered if:

  • theres a high risk that youll be exposed to one of the diseases
  • its highly likely that the opportunity of receiving either vaccine will be missed

If this is suggested, youll be counselled about any possible adverse events from each vaccine. Youll be advised to report any adverse events.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more advice on how to schedule vaccinations.

Recommended Reading: Getting A Flu Shot At Rite Aid

Who Should Not Receive A Flu Shot:

Most people should be vaccinated for influenza each year, But some people should not be vaccinated, or should not receive some types of influenza vaccines, depending upon things such as their age, health and whether they have certain allergies.

Information about who cannot get a flu vaccine and who should talk to their doctor before getting a flu vaccine is available at Who Should & Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated.

Flu Shot Timing: What’s Optimal

Aug. 30, 2021 — Amid fresh national recommendations for COVID booster shots to ramp up waning immunity, new research examining the durability of flu vaccination indicates significantly dwindling protection just months after inoculation.

Maximum influenza vaccine efficacy in adults occurred shortly after vaccination, followed by an average decline of 8% to 9% each month and an even swifter drop among older adults.

Even a 1- or 2-month delay in annual flu vaccination could improve vaccine effectiveness by 10% to 20%, according to the study, published August 15 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Analyzing vaccine timing relative to influenza-associated hospitalizations among more than 5500 adults, the findings are broadly consistent with both early and more recent studies, says study author Jill Ferdinands, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.

“These findings are not surprising,” Ferdinands tells Medscape Medical News. “In the very first successful trial of inactivated influenza vaccine in 1943, the study’s authors observed that antibodies to influenza declined by about one third within 4 to 5 months after vaccination.”

But “a better understanding of waning immunity, like the information gained by this study, could help further optimize the recommendation,” she says.

He says the COVID pandemic might prove to “actually be a shot in the arm for influenza vaccine research.”

Also Check: Are Flu Shots The Same Everywhere

How Long Does The Flu Shot Last

Nope, you can’t count on last year’s jab.

It happens every year, so it’s important to start asking yourself: When are you going to get your annual flu shot? Even if you faithfully pop on down to your local pharmacy to get the jab, you probably still have questions about the whole process. Like, when is the best time to get your flu shot? And how long does the flu shot last, anyway?

Unfortunately, getting your influenza shot once isnt going to protect you foreveryouve got to keep showing up, year after year, to keep up your flu-fighting superpowers. Last year’s shot? It’s not going to cover you this year.

Infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, points out that doctors really dont know what will happen in this upcoming flu season, given that a just little over 2,000 flu cases were reported to public health officials between late September 2020 and late April 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . We may have another mild season or it may be more typical, it is unclear, Dr. Adalja says.

What is clear, though, is that you should get your flu shot to protect yourself and the people around you from this intense respiratory virus.

Sohow long does the flu shot last? Infectious disease experts break it down.

Is It Ever Too Late To Get The Flu Vaccine

Flu Facts – Protect Yourself

Even if you dont receive the flu shot during the ideal time in September or October, its not necessarily too late. Some flu seasons last well into spring, so even a flu shot in February could help you. Still, you never know when flu exposure can happen, so its best not to delay.

Plus, when enough people get vaccinated early in your community, you may help prevent an outbreak in the area altogether. Considering some people have risk factors that make them more likely to have flu complications, preventing an outbreak could potentially save lives.

Read Also: Can I Give Blood After Flu Vaccine

When Is The Flu Vaccine Given

It is possible to come into contact with flu viruses all year round, but the chance of the flu virus circulating in the community is highest during winter. For most people, the best time to be vaccinated against the flu is just before the start of the winter season. In Aotearoa New Zealand, this is between April and June. It takes around 2 weeks after vaccination for the vaccine to be fully effective. You may still get the flu in this time if you come into contact with the virus, so get vaccinated in time for winter.

Past And Projected Futures Of Flu Seasons

According to the CDC, last flu season saw an unusually low amount of flu cases, despite having high levels of testing in place. This was assumed to be due to the COVID-19 mitigation measures, such as encouraging individuals to stay home, wear face masks, travel less, and wash their hands more frequently.

Additionally, individuals, last year seemed to be more likely to receive their flu vaccine, as a record number of flu vaccines, 193.8 million, were administered throughout the U.S. during this past flu season.

Also Check: Where To Get Flu Shot Kaiser

When Is The Vaccination Sweet Spot

If you delay your decision to be vaccinated until July or August, when the flu season is well underway, your chance of becoming infected will significantly increase.

Mid-to-late May or early in June is the sweet spot between trying to maximise your protective levels of antibodies generated by vaccination and getting vaccinated before there are significant levels of influenza virus circulating.

It’s better to be vaccinated early than not at all.

Remember, it takes seven to ten days from the time of your flu shot for the vaccine to begin to be fully effective.

Getting vaccinated in late May or early June should provide good levels of protection during the peak of the influenza season and may even last through to November, by which time the influenza season has usually finished.

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