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Is it too late to get a flu shot?

Ask the doctor


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Q. I haven’t gotten my flu shot yet, but now it’s later in the flu season. Is it too late?

A. Typically, winter epidemics of influenza (“flu”) hit hardest in December through February. But they can start as early as late September and last as late as May. So the best time to get your annual flu shot is in mid-October. However, if December has arrived and you haven’t had your shot yet, get it now: you are still at risk for getting flu for several more months.

Does getting a flu shot guarantee that you won’t get the flu? Few things in life are guaranteed, and perfect medical treatments are not among them. But there is no doubt that flu shots reduce your risk of flu, and they are recommended each year for nearly everyone over 6 months of age.

— Anthony Komaroff, MD
Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

Posted by: Dr.Health

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