Get those tissues ready, because you are going to need them! Much like death and taxes, we can't escape the flu season—and it is back in action! Each year in the late fall through early spring, influenza, aka the flu, begins to make its rounds, much to our dread. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, are launching their campaign to get the word out that we all start thinking about being vaccinated.
In line with the CDC's 2019-2020 recommendations, everyone six months of age and up, unless they experience contraindications, are being urged to get their flu vaccinations. The CDC suggests that anyone who chooses to be vaccinated should remember that there is no guaranteed of immunity to 100 percent. However, when the flu strains circulating in public, match those contained in the vaccine:
“…the flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor for the flu by 40 percent to 60 percent.”
As for when the recommended time to get the vaccine, that would be October. However, those individuals between the ages of 6 months and eight years will require two courses of the vaccine. The first dose is advised to be given as soon as possible, as the dosages are needed to be given four weeks apart. Both treatments are required to be done by the end of October, for the best results.
As stated by the CDC, the flu season generally starts as early as the months of October or November and can continue to late May. However, peak flu season standardly falls between the months of December and February. This is why it is advised that the vaccinations are taken as early as possible — the earlier the coverage, the better the protection against contracting the virus.
With this said, it is ill-advised to vaccinate in July or August, as it is possible to treat too early. When vaccination is given too soon, the overall protection has shown to wane before the end of the peak flu season. Although it is best to vaccinate in October, if for some reason you treat later in the year, you can still benefit from it. The CDC suggests that as long as the virus that presents as influenza is known to be still circulating, it is still a good idea to get vaccinated—even in January or even later.
So what’s the verdict—you decide.
Are you planning to get your flu vaccination for the upcoming flu season?