Not too late to get your flu shot

As January turns to February, I am often asked by patients if they should still get their flu shots.  While you should have had one already, it is still not to late.  According to the CDC, viruses that cause the flu are most common during the fall and winter months, with activity starting to increase in October and November. While the flu season usually ity peaks between December and February, and it can last as late as May. Because it takes about two weeks after getting the flu shot for the vaccination to protect you against the flu, you can technically get the flu shot through February and have it still provide some benefit.  That said, next time please get your flu shot earlier, before flu season begins. The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, though early November is still probably OK. 

One thing that patients often tell me is that "I don't get the flu shot because I never get the flu."  This is a huge myth.  As I told Prevention Magazine in "10 Flu Myths Your Doctor Wishes You Would Stop Believing," if you happen to be the type of individual that doesn't usually get sick, that's fantastic. However, it doesn't mean you aren't at risk for the flu. That's like saying, "I never get in car accidents so I don't need car insurance."

Please get a flu shot. 

Author
Matthew L. Mintz, MD, FACP

You Might Also Enjoy...

What is a GLP-1?

GLP-1 analogues like Ozempic and Mounjaro have received a lot of attention because of their ability to help with weight loss.

What is Long COVID?

Though there is no standard definition for Long COVID, it is a condition that occurs in some patients infected by COVID where symptoms of fatigue, respiratory symptoms, and mental issues such as brain fog can last for many months.

Why we need to move on from COVID, and how to do this safely

Despite the low risk of dying from COVID, many are still not engaging in pre-COVID activities, like seeing friends are going to restaurants. However, there are things beyond masking and vaccines that may help even the most reluctant get back to normal