The Best Time of the Year to Get a Flu Shot

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source, the seasonal flu causes around 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 61,000 deaths every year in the United States.

Getting vaccinated can lower your chances of getting the flu. While you can get a flu shot anytime during flu season, the timing does matter.

In this article, we’ll help you understand how to time your flu vaccine for maximum protection.

When should you get a flu shot?


In the northern hemisphere, the (CDC) Trusted Source recommends getting vaccinated between early September and late October.

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The flu virus is around all year, but it spreads more easily from September through the spring, generally peaking between December and February.

It takes about 2 weeks to develop enough antibodies from the flu vaccine to protect you against the flu.

Protection fades over time, so getting vaccinated before September may leave you more vulnerable toward the end of flu season.

You can continue to get the vaccine through late winter to early spring.

Children aged 6 months to 8 years need two doses 4 weeks apart, so it’s best to get them started in early September.


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