Is it too late to get a flu shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage everyone to get vaccinated in September and October of each year.

If you miss that window, the CDC says there are still lots of good reason to get the flu shot late rather than not at all.

Vaccination after October can still provide protection against the flu virus when it’s at its peak – January and February.

Plus, since the flu can still be spread as late as May, a flu shot any time before then offers benefits. Remember, it takes the flu vaccine about two weeks for full protection to kick in.

The CDC doesn’t recommend getting the flu shot in July or August.

Why is a getting an annual flu shot a good idea?

  • The flu can spread even before symptoms appear. You could be exposed to the flu by someone who doesn’t know they have it.
  • Serious complications such as pneumonia can be triggered by the flu. A flu shot offers protection.
  • New strains of the flu virus develop every year. An updated vaccine is created each year to fight them.

Ready to get your flu shot?

It’s easy to get a flu shot. Make an appointment with your primary care provider. 

Source: Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions, leaving site icon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022
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