In line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, everybody 6 months and older ought to get their flu shot each season, with a couple of uncommon exceptions.
Whereas the flu has a repute of being delicate, that’s not the case for many individuals. The flu kills tens of hundreds of individuals yearly ― the CDC famous that it has precipitated “52,000 deaths yearly between 2010 and 2020.”
Under, a vaccine professional shares when to get your flu shot this 12 months and why it’s essential to get the jab.
Does everybody want to get a flu shot?
Sure. If COVID-19 has taught us something, we now know simply how essential vaccination is to cease the unfold of a virus. As we reside via one other pandemic fall, it’s essential to be as protected as potential towards each COVID-19 and the flu.
Instances of the flu went down when folks had been required to put on masks, defined Dr. Bert E. Johansson, a vaccine professional with the Nationwide Hispanic Medical Affiliation. That possible received’t be the case this 12 months, since these mandates are not in impact in most public areas.
“Joint an infection is troublesome to handle, even [for] people who find themselves in any other case not at excessive danger,” he mentioned. In different phrases, you actually don’t need to get contaminated with COVID-19 and the flu without delay, which is fully potential.
Your flu shot protects extra folks than you suppose.
Not solely does your flu shot defend you, but it surely shields these round you. When you could expertise a light case of the flu, that doesn’t imply these round you’ll have the identical luck.
“Individuals, sadly, [have] gotten used to saying it’s simply the flu,” Johansson mentioned, however “influenza is a killer” and “tends to kill the younger and the aged,” together with folks with ailments like bronchial asthma and COPD.
So, whereas it’s straightforward to say, “oh, I’ve by no means gotten the flu vaccine and I’m advantageous,” it’s essential to keep in mind that by vaccinating your self, you’re decreasing the danger that the flu will infect somebody who will not be advantageous.
“There have been some actually nice research [that] present once you vaccinate youngsters, you lower the probability of influenza within the aged,” he mentioned. “I inform folks, ‘don’t essentially get it for your self, get it in your grandmother or your grandfather.’”
The very best time to get the shot is as quickly because it’s out there ― most probably throughout the subsequent month or so.
“Individuals ought to get their influenza vaccine as quickly because it’s out there of their group,” Johansson mentioned. “That’s often in September.”
Whereas we see the flu year-round, it will increase in October and November, after which peaks in February, he defined. So, you’ll need to ensure you’re protected by the point instances start to rise, which implies getting a shot as early as September so your physique has time to construct up immunity.
However, even should you don’t get your flu shot instantly, it’s nonetheless essential to get your shot finally.
Say you don’t get it in September. Johansson then urged that you simply goal for at the least the tip of October. However general: Any time is an effective time to get your flu shot quite than not getting it in any respect.
Whereas earlier within the season could also be preferable, “in case you have the chance to get it in December, get it.” Both approach, you’re including to your group’s flu safety and looking for your self, too.
You may get the flu shot on the identical time you get your subsequent COVID booster, but when the flu shot is accessible first, don’t wait to get it.
The Biden administration bought 171 million doses of a brand new, omicron-targeting COVID booster that’s anticipated to be out there within the fall. Consultants anticipate that the majority adults will be capable to get it round September.
Whereas you may get your flu shot once you get your subsequent COVID booster, Johansson reiterated that individuals ought to get the flu shot each time it’s out there. He expects that the flu shot can be out there earlier than the up to date COVID booster.
One caveat, although: If you’re an individual who’s uneasy about needles or pictures, it could be good to only have one appointment for each if that’s extra of a assure that you simply’ll get them. “You may get the pictures collectively, one in every arm,” Johansson mentioned.
So, speak to your physician about getting your flu shot so you possibly can have a plan earlier than instances start to soar.