When Do Experts Say You Should Get a Flu Shot?

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It’s ingrained in many of our brains to get a flu shot as soon as possible since it’s better to be safe than sorry. Yet, many health officials are saying perhaps we get the immunization too early in the year for the shot to work at its full potential when the flu season really hits.

Stores start promoting the flu shot in August, but this is more marketing than health-related. According to CNN, “the rise of retail medical clinics inside drug stores over the past decade — and state laws allowing pharmacists to give vaccinations — has stretched the flu-shot season.”

Our government advises people to get the flu shot whenever they can since getting a shot early is better than not at all. Although immunologists like Laura Haynes with the University of Connecticut Center on Aging says, “If you’re over 65, don’t get the flu vaccine in September. Or August. It’s a marketing scheme.”

Since the antibodies that are obtained after the vaccine start to wane in older patients and those with compromised immune systems, waiting might work out for the best. What is the best month to get a flu shot? Haynes states that between Halloween and Thanksgiving is an ideal time to get protection from the flu virus.