It's that time of year again!
Flu season typically begins in October, peaks in January, and fizzles out by May. So, we haven't seen any cases in our office yet, but we're getting ready. We just got our batch of flu vaccine for the season, and I'm writing to urge you to get yours soon!
Because we are not expecting any big shortages worldwide, the CDC does recommend that everyone get a flu shot this year.
Here's a list of FAQ-type bullet points of issue that I typically get with patients:
- No, you can't get the flu from the flu shot. We are activating your immune system, however, and rarely sometimes people can feel like they're coming down with something for a brief period afterwards, but you won't get the flu from a flu shot
- Yes, you do need to get the flu shot every season. This year's flu vaccine is identical to last years (this is because they expect the same three strains to be the most dominant this season), and even if you got the flu shot last year, you need to get it again this year to boost your immunity. It's unlikely that you have enough antibodies from last year to protect you this season!
- Earlier is better. It takes about two weeks before your body generates protective levels of antibodies, so please consider getting your shot well before you start traveling this fall! It's particularly important for patients with chronic health conditions like diabetes or HIV, or those over 50 years old, to get their vaccination as early as possible before we start seeing the first cases of flu. Also, if you come into contact with kids or the elderly, or patients in general in your line of work, you should get yours early, too!
Make an appointment for your flu shot soon! Just got mine (it was a breeze) :D
Vy Chu, MD