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You Forgot Your Flu Shot... Is It Too Late to Get One Now?

You Forgot Your Flu Shot... Is It Too Late to Get One Now?

Written By: Kate Finkelston on December 05, 2016

Updated August 2020

Pharmacies have been offering the flu vaccine for a few months now, but we live busy lives, and getting that shot may have fallen to the wayside. It happens, but the question remains – is it too late to get your flu shot?

Flu season typically runs from October to May, but most cases occur from late December to early March. The CDC recommends getting your flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available and preferably by October; however, experts agree that getting vaccinated late is better than never. The flu can affect anyone, but some people are at a higher risk for serious flu-related complications.

The people that are at a higher risk include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People who already have flu-like medical conditions (i.e. asthma, diabetes, and heart disease)

It takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccination for antibodies that protect against the influenza virus to develop in the body. The CDC has created a Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report so you can monitor flu activity across the United States. They also recommend the use of injectable flu vaccines (shots) and not the nasal spray flu vaccine for the year (2016) due to concerns about effectiveness.

So grab your flu shot today. Getting your flu vaccination can prevent you and your loved ones from picking up the pesky virus so better late than never, right?