This time of the year brings new responsibilities and priorities, growing people’s to-do lists as the weather cools down. In the midst of the chaos, you may have forgotten about an important annual task: getting your flu shot. If so, don’t fear: it’s not too late to get your shot. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says now is a great time to make sure you’re protecting yourself and those you love from the flu.
Every flu season is different, but flu activity most often peaks between December and February each year, with some seasons lasting until May. It takes up to two weeks to inoculate the body after receiving the flu vaccine, so the CDC often recommends people get the shot between October and late November, although it’s better to have protection anytime during flu season rather than not receive the shot at all.
Who should get a flu shot? Any child or adult older than 6 months should receive the flu vaccine. The vaccine is the safest and most effective way for people to reduce the risk of receiving or passing on flu viruses. It’s especially important to receive the shot to protect vulnerable populations, including newborns, seniors and people with immune conditions.
It’s still possible to get the flu if you have gotten the flu shot, but symptoms will likely be milder. And no, you cannot get the flu from getting a flu shot.
Where can you get a flu shot? Health clinics at colleges and workplaces nationwide offer the shots for free, and you can also get one at doctor’s offices, pharmacies and some supermarkets.
Make getting your flu shot a top priority to protect yourself and your loved ones this busy fall season.