The flu vaccine typically stays in your system for six months, so getting a shot in early October should carry you to springtime.
The flu vaccine typically stays in your system for six months, so getting a flu shot by mid-October should carry you to springtime, according to Monalisa M. Tailor, M.D., an internal medicine physician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Barret.
“The vaccine takes about two weeks to build up the antibodies in your system, so you don’t want to delay it too far into the season,” Dr. Tailor said.
Protect Yourself and Those Close to You
With our schedules upended this year, you might want to make a specific plan to get your flu vaccine.
In mid-March 2020, when the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic initially hit, flu already was winding down. Strict quarantine and social distancing measures helped slow the flu spread further. Now people are going out to eat, shopping and going to work. All those interactions increase our risk of getting the flu as well as COVID-19.
“Making sure that we can protect ourselves against the flu virus is going to be very, very important with the upcoming fall and winter season,” Dr. Tailor said.
While the viruses that cause the flu each year tend to mutate and change through the season from the time the vaccine is developed, the flu vaccine typically reduces the risk of needing medical care for flu by about 40% to 60%.
“If we have one vaccine that can help us do that against one really difficult virus, I think we should take that opportunity, because I would rather not see anybody sick and in the hospital right now,” Dr. Tailor said. “And if we can be healthy while we’re at work, while we’re at school, and while we’re at home, I would rather us do that than be sick.”