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Is Winter too Late to Get a Flu Shot?

Is Winter too Late to Get a Flu Shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu caused between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 52,000 deaths annually between 2010 and 2020.

The CDC recommends getting your flu annual vaccine between September and October since it takes two weeks for the flu shot to become effective after it’s given. But they also say getting the vaccine in January or February is still beneficial, so winter is not too late to get your flu shot!

The experienced team at Summit Primary Care offers the flu shot at all three locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, Colorado.

Flu season

The typical flu season starts in November in the United States and reaches its peak in January or February. Protection from a flu shot lasts a few months, so it’s generally recommended that people get their flu shots in late fall so they’re still protected when the flu is at its peak.

Though the flu is seasonal, some years - flu cases start to increase earlier. While it makes sense to get the flu shot early during those years whenever possible, it’s really never too late to get the flu vaccine. Even getting the shot in the winter offers protection against getting the flu, and the flu shot follows a “better late than never” philosophy since people can get the flu well into the spring season.

Getting the flu vaccine annually is especially important if you plan to travel, because the flu season varies from continent to continent. If you’re traveling in late winter or spring and didn’t get the flu shot, schedule an appointment at Summit Primary Care to help protect yourself against getting the flu while traveling.

Should you get the flu shot if you already had the flu?

Maybe you completely forgot about getting your flu shot until you got the flu! There are multiple strains of the flu virus that circulate each year. The trivalent flu shot protects against three strains of the flu and the quadrivalent flu shot protects against four strains. 

If you get sick with influenza B, you can still end up with influenza A or a different strain later in the season, so it’s still a good idea to get the flu shot if you already had the flu.

The flu can be a serious disease

Each flu season is different with the severity of the flu strains varying from season to season. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC agree that your best defense is vaccination, which helps provide protection from contracting the flu and lessens the risk for potential complications if you do get the flu.

During the 2019-2020 flu season, 400,000 people were hospitalized for the flu and 22,000 people died of influenza. The flu shot prevented more than 7 million flu illnesses and 6,300 flu-related deaths.

Whether it’s fall, winter, or even spring, call Summit Primary Care in Colorado for a flu shot or schedule an appointment online.

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