While getting the flu shot at any time during flu season is better than not getting it at all, getting it early is one of the best things you can do for your health and the health of your overall community.
While the height of flu season has yet to occur, getting your shot now can help prevent the spread of the virus both to you and to others as those infected with the flu begin experiencing symptoms. Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Bronx 149th offers some insight.
The Best Time to Get the Flu Shot
It may not seem like flu season just yet, but getting your flu shot early is one of the best things you can do for your health. By the time you start to hear sniffles and coughs throughout grocery stores and at your children’s schools, the flu virus is already beginning to spread through coughs, sneezes and contact. That is why getting the vaccine early is the best way to prevent the virus affecting you.
How Quickly the Flu Can Spread
While we all know how uncomfortable flu symptoms can be, many underestimate just how quickly they are spread. The CDC reports the following about the spread of the flu:
- Most people can spread the virus before their symptoms develop.
- Those who have been suffering from flu symptoms for three to four days are the most contagious.
- People with the flu can spread it up to five to seven days after experiencing symptoms, with children and those with compromised immune systems having the potential to spread it even longer.
- Symptoms do not begin immediately—the average time period is two days, but can be up to four, meaning those who are spreading the virus may not be aware that they are sick.
- It is possible to spread the virus even if you do not get infected with the flu this season.
Is It Possible to Get the Flu Shot Too Early?
While getting the flu shot in August or September has been linked to decreased protection later on in flu season, any time in late September through October is an optimal time to receive your shot.
Some children and older adults with weaker immune systems may require two doses of the flu vaccine, in which case it is best to begin as early as possible as the vaccines must be given at least four weeks apart.
If you have not yet received your flu shot, come see us today at AFC Urgent Care Bronx 149th! We have flexible hours to keep you healthy all flu season long.