When it comes to warding off the flu, it's better to get an early start this year.
September and October are the best months to get your flu vaccine this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
You can still get it later than that, but you'll be missing out on coverage right at the beginning of the flu season. High-risk individuals like the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are especially encouraged to get vaccinated.
The CDC recommends a flu vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months. It comes in either an injection or nasal spray, and in a standard dose or higher dosage for the elderly. Even if you are allergic to eggs (a component of standard flu vaccine virus culture), there are alternative, egg-free versions available.
While the vaccines are not 100-percent effective at ensuring you don't get the flu, they are proven to lessen the effects of it. This leads to fewer hospitalizations due to influenza, a key benefit to both patients and the healthcare industry that is currently dealing with COVID-19.
Here are some statistics from 2019:
According to in-season #flu burden estimates from @CDCFlu, there were at least 39,000 flu hospitalizations between Oct. 1 and Dec. 21 in the US.— CDC (@CDCgov) December 31, 2019
A #fluvaccine can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization. Learn more: https://t.co/kfI18PWwiI. pic.twitter.com/eIMGXf1R4l
Not sure where to find a flu vaccine near you? Try your local health clinic, pharmacy, or use the VaccineFinder site by typing in your zip code.
For more information, check out the frequently asked questions on the CDC's page on the 2020-2021 flu season.
*The photos in this article are courtesy of the CDC.
Will you be getting a flu shot this year? Where do you go to get vaccinated? Let us know in the comments!