The holiday season has already started, and so has flu season. That’s why the CDC has designated the week of December 4 – 10, 2016, as National Influenza Vaccination Week.
Once November ends and the holiday season starts, people tend to forget about getting their flu shot. In fact, research from past flu seasons has shown that very few people get a flu shot after the end of November. And not only that, but last flu season, only 40% of those recommended to get a flu shot actually got one by the end of November. This means almost 60% of the U.S. population remained unprotected from the flu after flu season had already started.
Even though flu season has begun, it’s not too late to get your flu shot. So long as the flu virus is still circulating, you can get sick with the flu, which is why it is so important to protect yourself with the flu vaccine. And not only will you be protecting yourself, but those around you as well. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with certain chronic health conditions are all at higher risk of developing serious and even deadly complications from the flu. By getting the flu shot, you are one less person who might pass the flu to these vulnerable populations.
Once you’ve gotten the flu shot, it typically takes about two weeks before your body is fully protected against the flu strains found in that year’s flu vaccine. These strains are chosen based on what is predicted to be the most common strains of the flu during the upcoming flu season. Because the flu vaccine protects against several strains of the flu, it is beneficial to get your flu shot even if you have already had the flu this season.
Say you get the flu shot during National Influenza Vaccination Week, which is December 4 – 10. That means by December 18 – 24, you will be protected against the flu — just in time for holiday travel! If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, act quickly to protect yourself and those around you this flu season. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to become sick with the flu this flu season.
Visit your local AFC Urgent Care to get your flu shot today — no appointment necessary.