When Should You Get Your Flu Shot
Its generally recommended that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, according to the CDC. This is especially important because of the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The flu season can last until March or April, so you can still get the flu vaccine later. No matter when you get your flu shot, it will still be valuable to help protect you for the rest of the flu season. Talk to your provider about the best time to get your flu shot. Remember to ask about other vaccines you might need to protect yourself this year too.
The Flu Vaccine Helps Protect You And Your Family From The Flu
Millions of people get influenza every year. While it may be common, seasonal flu is a potentially serious disease. It can lead to hospitalization and even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .1 Thats why its recommended to get a flu vaccine every year to help protect yourself and your family.2 The flu vaccine can help:
- Weaken or prevent the flu
- Reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 percent to 60 percent during seasons when the flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses1
The Flu Shot Is Your Best Defence
This years flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. Dont take any unnecessary risks with your health. Get the flu shot as early in the season as possible.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months old and older. It is:
- available from your doctor or nurse practitioner, and at participating pharmacies and local public health units across the province
- proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu
- different each year because the virus changes frequently so you need to get it every fall
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Seasonal Flu: Vaccine And Prevention
Everyone 6 months and older should get a seasonal flu vaccination each year. Seasonal flu vaccines are safe and the most effective way to protect yourself against getting sick.
To maintain your protection, you need a flu vaccine each year. It is best to get vaccinated in the fall, but you can be vaccinated through late spring.
Flu vaccines are widely available at doctors offices, pharmacies, community health clinics and through employer-sponsored programs. Most health insurance plans cover flu vaccination without a co-pay. There are also many ways for New Yorkers without health insurance to get low-cost vaccines, including at NYC H+H sites.
Be sure to call ahead to check for vaccine availability.
Influenza germs are highly contagious and easily transmitted through contact with an infected person who is coughing and sneezing. In addition to getting vaccinated, you can prevent the flu by washing your hands often with soap and water and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands.
Everyone should get the flu vaccine every year. People in the following groups are more likely to get severely sick and have complications from seasonal flu, so it is especially important for them to get vaccinated.
Flu Vaccine and COVID-19
Essential workers should also receive a seasonal flu vaccine. This includes:
Does My Child Need 2 Doses Of Flu Vaccine For The 2020
Children aged 6 months through 8 years of age are recommended to receive 2 doses of flu vaccine, separated by at least 4 weeks, for the 2021-2022 flu season if they have not previously received at least 2 doses of flu vaccine prior to this flu season.
Children who need 2 doses of influenza vaccine administered at least 4 weeks apart are recommended to receive the first dose as soon as possible after vaccine becomes available.
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Flu Shots For Children
For a child under age 18 to be vaccinated, a parent or guardian must be present and must bring prior immunization records. Parents are reminded that children younger than nine years of age who have not previously been vaccinated against the flu may need two doses of the flu vaccine given a month apart for full protection.
Vaccines for Children Program Parents can bring their children from six months through age 18 to DOH-Flagler for free flu vaccinations through the federally funded Vaccines for Children program. VFC-eligible children may receive flu shots as well as immunizations required for day care and school entry.
I Still Got The Flu After The Flu Vaccine Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine This Year
Although the flu vaccine wont prevent every case of the flu, getting an annual vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness. Getting the flu vaccine may make illness milder. A 2017 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases showed that influenza vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized influenza patients.
A flu shot cannot cause flu illness. If you get flu-like symptoms after receiving the flu vaccine, there may be a few reasons why you have a low grade fever, and headache, including that they may be mild side-effects of the vaccine. If you get diagnosed with the flu shortly after receiving the flu vaccine, you may have been exposed to the flu virus beforehand, as it takes approximately two weeks for the vaccine to work.
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Here Are Some Guidelines To Help You Decide If Your Child Should Get The Flu Vaccine:
- Children under 6 months of age should not get a flu shot since they have immature immune systems and cannot respond to a flu vaccine. Mothers who are breastfeeding and have had a flu vaccination can provide protection to their infants through breast milk.
- Children aged 6 to 23 months should get a flu shot since it is risky for a child in this age group to develop the flu.
- Children aged 2 to 18 years old do not need a flu shot unless they have a chronic illness or if they have a sibling younger than 6 months old.
Should I Get The Flu Vaccine If I’m Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
Years of studies and observation show that you can safely get a flu shot at any time, during any trimester, while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Babies cannot get the vaccine until six months old. Because antibodies from the vaccine pass onto a fetus in the womb and through breast milk, you protect your baby even more by getting vaccinated.
Pregnant people should not get the nasal spray form of the flu vaccine. Those with a life-threatening egg allergy should not get the flu vaccine, whether pregnant or not.
SourcesFlu & Pregnancy- CDC
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Is There Anyone Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
Children less than 6 months of age are too young to receive flu vaccine, which is why it’s especially important everyone who comes into contact with young infants receives flu vaccine themselves. Also, if someone has had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of flu vaccine or to one of the vaccine components*, they should not receive flu vaccine. Ask your healthcare provider which flu vaccine is right for you and your child.
*Note: persons who are allergic to eggs are still recommended to receive flu vaccine.
Some Children Are At Higher Risk
Children at greatest risk of serious flu-related complications include the following:
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Can I Get Seasonal Flu Even Though I Got A Flu Vaccine This Year
Yes. Its possible to get sick with flu even if you have been vaccinated . This is possible for the following reasons:
You may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in you becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect you.
You may be exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. There are many different flu viruses that circulate every year. A flu vaccine is made to protect against the three or four flu viruses that research suggests will be most common.
Unfortunately, some people can become infected with a flu virus a flu vaccine is designed to protect against, despite getting vaccinated. The protection provided by the flu vaccination can vary widely, based in part on the health and age factors of the person getting vaccinated. In general, a flu vaccine works best among healthy younger adults and older children. Some older people and people with certain chronic illnesses may develop less immunity after vaccination. Flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, but it is the best way to protect against flu infection.
Things Parents Should Know About Flu Shots
- By Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Follow me on Twitter @drClaire
We started giving flu shots at our practice last week, and it made me not just happy, but relieved. I know how bad influenza can be and I always feel better when we can start preventing it.
Every year, influenza sickens millions, hospitalizes hundreds of thousands, and kills tens of thousands. This is not your average common cold. While it is especially dangerous for anyone who already has a health problem , it can be dangerous for healthy people, too.
Even if you dont get that sick from the flu, aside from missing school or work there is the very real problem that influenza is very contagious and you can be contagious before you realize that you have the flu. That means you can spread it to others, some of whom may get very sick. Getting immunized helps keep everyone safe: its not just about you, its about everyone around you. This is especially true for children, who arent always great about washing their hands and tend to touch lots of things and people around them.
Here are a few things all parents should know about the flu vaccine:
About the Author
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When Should I Get Vaccinated Against Flu
Its best to be vaccinated before flu begins spreading in your community. September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated against flu. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October. However, even if you are not able to get vaccinated until November or later, vaccination is still recommended because flu most commonly peaks in February and significant activity can continue into May.
Additional considerations concerning the timing of vaccination for certain groups include:
- Adults, especially those 65 years and older, should generally not get vaccinated early because protection may decrease over time, but early vaccination can be considered for any person who is unable to return at a later time to be vaccinated.
- Children can get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available, even if this is in July or August. Some children need two doses of flu vaccine. For those children it is recommended to get the first dose as soon as vaccine is available, because the second dose needs to be given at least 4 weeks after the first.
- Early vaccination can also be considered for people who are in the third trimester of pregnancy, because this can help protect their infants during the first months of life .
Can I Have Flu And Covid
Yes. It is possible to have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be.
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.
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Why Does My Child Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year
Flu viruses are constantly changing, so new vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu viruses that are likely to cause the most illness. Also, protection provided by flu vaccination wears off over time. Your childs flu vaccine will protect against flu all season, but they will need a vaccine again next flu season for best protection against flu.
Why Should My Child Get A Flu Vaccine
- Reduces the risk of flu illness and hospitalization among children.
- Shown to be life-saving for children.
- Can make illness less severe among people who get vaccinated but still get sick with flu.
- Reduces the risk of illness, which can keep your child from missing school or childcare and you from having to miss work.
- Reduces the high risk of developing serious flu complication especially if your child is younger than 5 years, or of any age with certain chronic conditions.
- Helps prevent spreading flu to family and friends, including babies younger than 6 months who are too young to get a flu vaccine.
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Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza
Yearly influenza vaccination is recommended for people aged 6 months and over. Anyone who wants to protect themselves against influenza can talk to their immunisation provider about getting vaccinated.
The Australian Immunisation Handbook includes more information about specific groups who should get vaccinated against influenza.
The following people are more at risk of complications from influenza and are eligible for annual influenza vaccination free under the National Immunisation Program:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- Children aged 6 months to under 5 years
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- People aged 65 years or over.
- People aged 6 months or over who have medical conditions that mean they have a higher risk of getting serious disease:
- cardiac disease
- haematological disorders
- children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
Children under nine years receiving their influenza vaccination for the first time require two doses of vaccine, spaced by a minimum of one month.
In some states and territories, influenza vaccines may also be provided for free to other people not listed above. Speak to your immunisation provider or contact your state or territory Department of Health to find out.
People who are not eligible for a free vaccine can purchase the vaccine from their immunisation provider.
What About People Who Get A Seasonal Flu Vaccine And Still Get Sick With Flu Symptoms
There are several reasons why someone might get flu symptoms, even after they have been vaccinated against flu.
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What Should I Do If I Get Sick
Common flu symptoms may include fever or chills, muscle aches, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache and fatigue/tiredness. If you have flu symptoms and are in a high risk group, contact your healthcare provider. If you are not in a high risk group but have symptoms, get plenty of rest and drink fluids, manage symptoms with Over-the-counter medications when appropriate.
OTC medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to treat fever, headache, body aches, and sore throat.