CRETE, NE – The American Academy of Pediatrics has encouraged parents to get their children immunized against the flu as soon as possible, and by the end of October at the latest.
However, a new study by Kaiser Permanente Northern California showed the risk of contracting the flu goes up by roughly 16 percent every 28 days after vaccination.
This means people could be less protected during the height of flu season if they got vaccinated at the beginning of September.
Despite this conflicting advice, Public Health Solutions in Crete says some immunization is better than none, and predicting the timing of the flu is difficult.
“People with underlying conditions should get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available,” Kate Lang, a registered nurse with PHS said. “So, people who are 65 and older and have conditions like congestive heart failure, diabetes, asthma, those types of things, should get those vaccines at their regular healthcare appointments as soon as the vaccine is available.”
Mid-to late December or January is typically the height of flu season, but it can last as late as April some years.
The Centers for Disease Control recommend getting a flu shot before the end of October, in order to encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated.
Lange says if the flu hasn’t come to your community by February, getting a flu shot in that month is acceptable, also.
A vaccination, even if it doesn’t prevent all symptoms, reduces the severity of the flu, reduces the risk of hospitalization and the number of flu-related fatalities. The CDC encourages everyone to get a flu vaccination, especially young children, older adults, pregnant women, children and adults with chronic diseases.
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