According to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, everybody 6 months and older ought to get their flu shot each season, with just a few uncommon exceptions.
Whereas the flu has a popularity of being delicate, that isn’t the case for many individuals. The flu kills tens of hundreds of individuals yearly ― the CDC famous that it has brought about “52,000 deaths annually between 2010 and 2020.”
Beneath, a vaccine knowledgeable shares when to get your flu shot this yr 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 dwell by means of one other pandemic fall, it’s essential to be as protected as attainable in opposition to each COVID-19 and the flu.
Circumstances of the flu went down when folks have been required to put on masks, defined Dr. Bert E. Johansson, a vaccine knowledgeable with the Nationwide Hispanic Medical Affiliation. That seemingly received’t be the case this yr, since these mandates are now not in impact in most public areas.
“Joint infection is difficult to manage, even [for] people who are otherwise not at high risk,” he mentioned. In different phrases, you actually don’t need to get contaminated with COVID-19 and the flu directly, which is totally attainable.
Your flu shot protects extra folks than you assume.
Not solely does your flu shot shield 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 should have the identical luck.
“People, unfortunately, [have] gotten used to saying it’s just the flu,” Johansson mentioned, however “influenza is a killer” and “tends to kill the young and the elderly,” together with folks with ailments like bronchial asthma and COPD.
So, whereas it’s straightforward to say, “oh, I’ve never gotten the flu vaccine and I’m fine,” it’s essential to keep in mind that by vaccinating your self, you’re lowering the chance that the flu will infect somebody who might not be superb.
“There were some really great studies [that] show when you vaccinate children, you decrease the likelihood of influenza in the elderly,” he mentioned. “I tell people, ‘don’t necessarily get it for yourself, get it for your grandmother or your grandfather.’”
The greatest time to get the shot is as quickly because it’s accessible ― most certainly inside the subsequent month or so.
“People should get their influenza vaccine as soon as it’s available in their community,” Johansson mentioned. “That’s usually 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 be sure to’re protected by the point instances start to rise, which suggests getting a shot as early as September so your physique has time to construct up immunity.
However, even in case you don’t get your flu shot instantly, it’s nonetheless essential to get your shot ultimately.
Say you don’t get it in September. Johansson then steered that you simply goal for at the very least the tip of October. However general: Any time is an efficient time to get your flu shot reasonably than not getting it in any respect.
Whereas earlier within the season could also be preferable, “if you have the opportunity to get it in December, get it.” Both manner, you’re including to your neighborhood’s flu safety and searching 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 obtainable 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 accessible within the fall. Experts anticipate that almost all adults will be capable to get it round September.
Whereas you may get your flu shot while you get your subsequent COVID booster, Johansson reiterated that individuals ought to get the flu shot every time it’s accessible. He expects that the flu shot can be accessible earlier than the up to date COVID booster.
One caveat, although: In case you are an individual who’s uneasy about needles or photographs, it might be good to only have one appointment for each if that’s extra of a assure that you simply’ll get them. “You can get the shots together, one in each arm,” Johansson mentioned.
So, discuss to your physician about getting your flu shot so you’ll be able to have a plan earlier than instances start to soar.