Flu season is fast approaching as it usually starts in October in the U.S. But not everyone knows the best time to get vaccinated before the health issue peaks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated on its website the ideal timing of vaccination, saying people should get jabbed as early as September to October. But vaccination should continue throughout the flu season, which typically peaks between December and February in the country.
Flu vaccination between July and August is not recommended by the CDC. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for flu antibodies to develop in the body, perfectly timing the vaccination is necessary to counter the influenza outbreak.
Ideally, everyone should get vaccinated by the end of October to prevent early transmissions during the flu season that extends into May. The CDC also pointed out that influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged six months and above who do not have contraindications.
The public health agency also shared some guidelines for those planning to get the vaccines once they arrive. For adults aged 65 and above and pregnant women in the first or second trimester, vaccination before September should be avoided unless they wouldn’t be able to come back and get vaccinated during the flu season.
Parents are advised to have their children, 6 months through 8 years old, to get the first dose of the 2-dose flu vaccine for kids once available. Vaccination from July to August can be considered for children who only require the single-dose vaccine.
The CDC also updated its guidance for seniors. While people younger than 65 can go for any flu vaccines, the agency listed its preferential vaccines for people ages 65 and beyond.
“People 65 and older should get a higher dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine, including: Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Flublok Quadrivalent, or Fluad Quadrivalent vaccine. These vaccines are preferred for people 65 years and older because a review of existing studies suggested that, in this age group, these vaccines are potentially more effective than standard dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines,” the CDC wrote.
If the three are unavailable, the CDC said seniors could get any available vaccine to ensure protection ahead of the flu season this year.