Even if you do not get a flu shot every year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a good year to plan one. When should you book your appointment or go to your local pharmacy?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is better not to get a flu condition, period, than not to get it at all ̵1; but there is an optimal time to get it to adjust the protective window it provides to the actual flu season. While some individuals get a full-year boost from a flu shot, for some people, the boost in immunity is as short as 4-6 months.
What is an ideal time? September and October are the main months to get your flu shot. It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop, so you may not want to wait until the end of October either. And in the end, while it’s great to take time on your flu shot if you can, it’s more important to get the shot than to nail down the timing perfectly.
It is especially important to get your shot this year because of COVID-19. Health interviewed infectious experts, Dr Amesh A. Adalja, physician who explained, “Because influenza and COVID-19 compete for the same hospital resources, personal protective equipment and diagnostic reagents, it is important to try to minimize the impact of influenza. Reducing the burden of flu is one way to ensure that we have enough room for COVID-19 cases. ”
Not sure where to get your flu shot? You can contact your doctor’s office, contact a local pharmacy chain such as CVS (most national chains offer flu shots) or use the flu vaccine search feature on VaccineFinder.org to find places near you.