Published: Sept. 23, 2011
Updated: Sept. 23, 2011
When it comes to getting the flu vaccine, the sooner you get it, the sooner you start to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu.
However, many people mistakenly believe that if they get the flu shot in early fall, their protection against this deadly infection will wane come peak flu season, which usually occurs in late winter/early spring.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), everyone over the age of six months should get the flu shot as soon as the vaccine is available, usually beginning in September. This provides ongoing protection right from the beginning of flu season throughout its duration.
Getting the flu shot early is the best way to protect yourself and to prevent the spread of flu in your home and in the community.
According to Cameron Wolfe, MBBS, of Duke's Division of Infectious Diseases, people who are concerned about getting the flu shot should talk to their doctors about their concerns and should also consider that there are alternate methods of being vaccinated against the flu.
Alternate methods for vaccination include a nasal spray for those aged two to 49 years of age and an intradermal injection that uses a very small needle just under the skin.
“We take our responsibility of patient safety very seriously, and, as health care workers, that includes minimizing our chance of passing flu to patients," he says. "Family members should consider the same responsibility that they have to protect loved ones by getting the flu shot.”