What is the Best time to get flu shot – According to the Centers for The Disease Control, the flu shot is really important to get before the flu starts going around where you live. The best time to get flu shot is in October, so your body has enough time to build up protection for when the flu season is at its worst. After you get the shot, it takes about two weeks for it to start working and keep you from getting the flu.
The Best Time to Get a Flu Shot in 2021-2022
The best time to get flu shots is before flu season starts in late October is a good idea. This way, your body has enough time to build up protection before the flu spreads in your area. If you get the shot too early, like in July or August, it might not last long enough to keep you protected later in the flu season, which can last until April.
Flu season usually happens from December to March, but the worst time can vary from year to year. Usually, the worst time for the flu is between December and February, but in the past 18 years, there have been only three seasons when it peaked in March: 2005-2006, 2011-2012, and 2015-2016.
So, getting your flu shot in October is the best way to stay protected throughout the peak flu season and into March.
This Flu Season Might be Different
The CDC said that last year, there were very few cases of the flu even though a lot of testing was going on. This was probably because people were staying at home more, wearing masks, not traveling as much, and washing their hands more often to prevent getting COVID-19.
Also, a lot of people got their flu shot last year – the most ever given in the US, with 193.8 million shots.
But doctors still don’t know what this flu season will be like. Even though there were fewer cases of the flu last year, some experts think that might make things worse this year because people didn’t build up as much immunity to it. As per experts, with COVID-19 still around, it’s hard to say what will happen in the upcoming flu season. So, people need to keep getting their flu shots and taking precautions to stay healthy.
How Flu Shot Helps Protect Us
When you get a vaccine, your body is given a small piece of a virus to learn how to fight it. This helps your immune system know how to recognize and fight off that virus if it ever enters your body again.
After you get a vaccine, your body takes some time to learn how to fight that virus. This usually takes about two weeks. During this time, your body creates special cells called antibodies that can recognize and fight the virus. If the virus ever enters your body again, these antibodies will help your body fight it off before it can make you sick.
Every year, scientists make a new vaccine for the flu. This is because the flu virus changes a lot from year to year. Scientists look at which flu viruses were common in the last year and which ones are likely to be common in the upcoming year. They then create a vaccine that can protect against those specific viruses.
It’s important to get the flu shot every year for two reasons. First, the protection you get from a vaccine gradually decreases over time. So, if you got a flu shot last year, your body might not be as good at fighting off the flu this year. Getting a new flu shot every year can help make sure your body is fully protected.
Second, because the flu virus changes so much, last year’s vaccine might not work as well against this year’s flu. By getting a new vaccine each year, you can make sure you’re protected against the specific flu viruses that are most likely to be common in the upcoming flu season.
Effectivity of Flu Shots in 2021-2022
Every year, scientists at the CDC study how well the flu vaccine protects people from getting the flu. These studies have found that, on average, the flu vaccine is about 40% to 60% effective in reducing the chances of getting sick with the flu during the flu season.
The effectiveness of the flu vaccine can vary depending on the type of flu virus that is going around. The current flu vaccines are usually better at protecting against influenza B and influenza A (H1N1) viruses but not as good at protecting against influenza A (H3N2) viruses.
What Factors Influence Flu Shot Effectiveness
- How well the flu shot works can depend on individual factors like a person’s age and overall health.
- Another important factor is whether the flu shot is a good match for the specific flu viruses that are going around. If the flu shot is a good match, it can protect a lot of people from getting sick with the flu. But if the flu shot doesn’t match the viruses that are going around very well, it might not be very effective at protecting people.
How Long Does the Flu Shot Lasts
After you get the flu shot, it takes about two weeks for your body to start making special cells called antibodies that can fight off the flu. According to the CDC, these antibodies can protect you for at least six months.
However, over time, the protection from the flu shot can start to decrease as the antibodies in your body decrease. The flu season usually lasts a few months, so if you get the flu shot at the beginning of the season, it should protect you for the whole season.
Different Types of Flu Vaccines
There are different types of flu vaccines available:
- Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine: This vaccine you spray up your nose. It’s approved for healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49. But, you should not get this vaccine if you have certain medical conditions.
- Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine: This vaccine protects against four different flu viruses, including two types of influenza A and two types of influenza B.
- Jet Injector Flu Vaccine: This vaccine doesn’t use a needle. Instead, it uses a high-pressure fluid stream to go through your skin. This vaccine is available for people between the ages of 18 and 64.
- Fluzone High-Dose Seasonal Influenza Vaccine: This vaccine is specifically for people who are 65 years old or older.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot in 2021-2022
It’s recommended that everyone six months and older get a flu shot every year to stay protected. But, some people are at higher risk of getting really sick from the flu, so it’s even more important for them to get vaccinated. This includes people who are 65 years old or older, people with certain long-term illnesses (like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children under five years old, especially those who are younger than two years old.
This Flu Season Protect Yourself
In addition to getting the flu vaccine, there are other things you can do to protect yourself from getting the flu or other infections.
- Washing your hands often,
- Not touching your face with your hands,
- Avoiding large crowds of people,
- And wearing a mask to cover your nose and mouth.
Now you know the best time to get flu shot and what precautions you must take this flu season. I hope we all stay safe in this critical situation.