The importance of flu shot is a bigger question now than before because of the pandemic. You start to see their ads at the beginning of the flu season. Flu season usually runs from October to May, with peaks in December until February. But do you really need a flu shot?
What is a Flu Shot?
Influenza vaccines or “flu shots” are vaccines that protect us from the 4 most common types of influenza during the cold months. The most common way of administering a flu shot is through needles but there also nasal spray flu vaccines.
There are different flu vaccine manufacturers and multiple influenza vaccine products licensed and recommended for use in the United States. However, CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine during the 2021-2022 influenza season. They pointed out that there is no preference expressed for any flu vaccine over another.
How does it work?
The flu vaccine that gets injected into our blood stream can cause antibodies. These antibodies develop in the body about 2 weeks after vaccination. They provide protection against infection with circulating influenza viruses.
Seasonal flu shots are designed to protect us against the flu viruses. Research indicates the viruses that will be most common during the upcoming season. According to CDC, all flu vaccines in the USA are “quadrivalent” vaccines, which means they protect against 4 different flu viruses: an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A(H3N2) virus, and two influenza B viruses.
Who should get the shots?
- pregnant women
- children under age 5
- people over age 65
- anyone working or living in a nursing home or chronic care facility
- anyone with chronic medical conditions
Where to get a flu shot?
Most doctors’ offices carry the vaccine. You may also get the vaccine at:
- walk-in medical clinics
- county or city health departments
Some schools and companies also offer flu shot clinics on site. Those that are open will begin promoting flu vaccines as the season approaches. Some even offer incentives such as coupons to encourage you to receive your vaccine according to Healthline.