Flu Vaccines Recommended Ahead Of Flu Season: Is It Time To Vaccinate?

It takes two weeks for the body to build immunity after getting the flu vaccine. Is it already time to get the flu vaccine?

Flu Vaccine Ahead Of Flu Season

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) summary of the 2017-2018 flu season described it as a high severity season with high levels of outpatient and emergency department visits related to influenza-like illnesses. True enough, there were over 30,000 laboratory confirmed influenza-related hospitalization from Oct. 1, 2017 through April 28, 2018, and reported 180 pediatric deaths as of Aug. 25, 2018.

There is no denying that the previous flu season was a particularly dire one, so it is already time to get vaccinated for the upcoming flu season? Based on CDC recommendations, late October is actually the optimal time to get the flu vaccine because it takes about two weeks for the body to develop the antibodies that protect against the flu, and the developed immune response tends to decline over time. Getting the vaccine in late October means that the body is still strongly protected by the time that the flu season peaks in fall.

That said, it is not considered too soon to get the vaccination early, especially if there is a chance one might not be able to get it in October for one reason or another. Further, vaccinations will continue to be available even when the flu season has already arrived, so even then, there is still a chance to get immunized.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise all children between six months and eight years old to get the vaccine as soon as possible because they require two doses of the vaccine, to be administered 28 days apart.

Why Get Vaccinated?

Millions of people get sick with the flu every year and as observed in the previous flu season, even those who are deemed as healthy people can still fall ill and die from the flu.

The reason why people need to get vaccinated every year is because the immune response from vaccination tend to decline over time, so the annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection. Further, the formulation of the vaccine itself is reviewed and updated each year in response to the continuously changing flu viruses.

In fact, in 2016 to 2017, the flu vaccine prevented 5.3 million flu illnesses, 2.6 million flu-related medical visits, and 85,000 flu-related hospitalizations. As such, children, adults, and older adults are recommended to get the flu vaccine.

While the flu vaccine is not a perfect defense against the flu, it is still the best way to get protected against flu infection.

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