Last year’s flu is not this year’s flu. And this year’s flu shot isn’t last year’s, either. The influenza virus continually mutates. Even if you had a flu shot last year, it won’t protect you this year.
Flu season usually begins as early as October. It peaks in December or January and then extends into the early spring. Getting your flu shot in September or October, rather than later, helps keep you protected for that entire time.
At Trinity Salem Family Health Clinic in Waxahachie, Texas, expert nurse practitioner Yaminah Matthews, APRN, FNP-C, and our team strongly encourage you to get your flu shot in September or October. You can also get a flu shot and COVID booster simultaneously.
Why should you get your flu shot early? The following are some of the most important reasons why.
A flu vaccine’s effectiveness depends partly on how well the viruses in the vaccine match the ones that actually circulate among the population. People who received the 2022 flu vaccine were approximately about 40-70% less likely to be hospitalized because of flu or its complications than were those who didn’t get a flu shot.
Flu shots train your body to fight the influenza virus. It usually takes your body about two weeks to build an effective immune response against the current virus.
When you get your flu shot now, you’re ready for the first time that you’re exposed to the flu. If you wait too long to get your shot, you may be exposed to the virus when your body is still in the midst of trying to create an effective immune response. Or, if you really wait too long, you may not be protected at all.
When you get a flu shot, you’re less likely to infect your family, friends, and co-workers with the flu. The effectiveness of a flu shot — or any immunization — is increased when the majority of community members receive it. When more people are immunized against the virus, it can’t spread through the population as easily.
Flu shots strengthen your immune system. They also prevent you from coming down with the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. And, if you already have health conditions, a flu shot can actually give you other benefits, too, such as:
In addition, a flu shot could save your life. If you have a chronic condition, especially an autoimmune disorder, exposure to influenza without a vaccine could be deadly.
Even if you miss your flu shot in September or October, it’s not too late to protect yourself for the rest of the season. Call us to book your family’s immunizations today or use our online appointment form. In most cases, the flu shot is free.