There’s No Good Reason Not To Get A Flu Vaccine Today

The official start of flu season — yes, there is a day — kicked off Thursday, with health officials imploring all Americans over six months of age to get the flu vaccination as soon as possible.

During a press conference put on by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, vaccine experts including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden, Dr. William Schaffner of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, stressed the importance of getting a flu vaccine before an outbreak begins.

When should you get a flu shot?

The earlier you can get the shots, the better. Antibodies don’t start building up in the body until two weeks after the shot, and by then you may already be in the midst of a flu outbreak. Forty million of the 171 million available shots have already been distributed, said Frieden. Because pharmacists can administer the shots in all 50 states, one of your best bets is to seek it at your local pharmacy. Your place of work may also be offering shots on a given day in the fall, as businesses have discovered that shots are a good way to keep people healthy, sick days down and health insurance costs low.

Neuzil also stressed that it’s never too late to get a flu shot. Even getting a vaccine as late as January could help protect against flu, she said, which can sometimes arrive late in February of the next year or resurge in March.

Who is most at risk?

Most people who get flu will only experience mild illness and won’t need to see a doctor or receive drugs to treat it. However, the flu can cause —> Read More