Get a jump on your influenza (flu) protection by getting your vaccine as soon as it becomes available in the community. By mid-August, early-September you’ll probably start hearing about flu shot availability at local pharmacies and grocery stores. Since the vaccine’s protection lasts a full year, a late summer immunization is a great opportunity to make sure you’re protected before the flu begins spreading in our community.
How long does it take for the flu immunization to take effect?
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body. If you happen to miss a late summer or fall flu shot (not recommended!), getting vaccinated later can still be beneficial, even into January or later.
When is flu season?
While seasonal flu viruses are detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but flu activity often begins to increase in October. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.
Photo courtesy of and information adapted from the Centers for Disease Control.