Each year, countless people contract the influenza virus, because they fail to get vaccinated against the most common seasonal strain. While most people recover without issue, many require hospitalization, while others suffer life-changing health outcomes. If you have yet to receive your flu vaccine, learn why it’s still not too late to visit your local PhysicianOne Urgent Care for a seasonal flu vaccine.
When Is Flu Season?
Flu season is an annually recurring period of time that’s characterized by an increased prevalence of influenza outbreaks. The flu season occurs during the cold seasons on each hemisphere, when conditions appear to increase the risk of transmission. In the United States, the flu season typically begins in October, peaks in February and ends in May. That said, flu transmission rates can vary by region
Because it can take up to two weeks for the human body to create antibodies against the influenza virus, experts recommend that people get vaccinated against the flu by the end of October.
What if You Waited?
If it’s still flu season and you haven’t been infected, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. At the same time, it’s a good idea to get vaccinated even if the flu season is close to its end. This is because flu activity can persist after the traditional flu season ends.
Why Get Vaccinated?
While some regard it as a minor illness, influenza is actually a serious disease. While every flu season is different, millions of people can expect to become infected, with hundreds of thousands requiring hospital stays and tens of thousands facing flu-related deaths. Because a flu infection can affect people differently, even healthy bodies can have serious reactions. This is why it’s so important for anyone to get immunized, regardless of their personal health.
With that said, it’s especially important for people to get vaccinated if they are at a higher risk of complications. This includes children younger than five, adults over 65, pregnant women, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, people with asthma and anyone with heart disease, suppressed immune function or some other serious pre-existing health condition. You should also get vaccinated if you care for someone who is at a high risk for flu-related complications.