According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people are strongly advised to get a flu vaccine before the end of October. Since the vaccination takes two weeks after administration to begin providing protection, it is recommended that people get the vaccination sooner rather than later, as the flu season usually begins to pick up by the end of October.
While any of the approved flu vaccinations offer protection against the virus, there are some formulations that offer protection against more strains. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. Trivalent vaccines protect against three strains of the virus, while quadrivalent vaccines protect against a fourth additional strain. We carry the quadrivalent vaccine to provide our patients with the most protection from the flu.
For the 2017-2018 flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. The nasal spray flu vaccine should not be used during 2017-2018. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.
Schedule your flu shot with us today!