Physicians Recommend Getting Flu Shot As Soon As Possible
Originally published in the Houston Public Media
Flu season typically occurs between October and May, with the highest activity between January and March. In an average year, between 12,000 and 56,000 Americans will die from flu-related illness. Already this year there’s been one pediatric flu death in Texas, and a school closure due to an outbreak. Allison Winnike with The Immunization Partnership said the flu virus mutates, so scientists try to predict the strains that are going to be active.
“But the great thing about the flu vaccine is that it protects us against a lot of different strains. Even if we don’t have an exact match, it can lessen the symptoms,” Winnike said.
Although the vaccine doesn’t completely block people from getting sick, vaccinated people tend to get a milder case of the disease.
“The flu vaccine uses inactivated dead virus. And what this does is it allows your immune system to build a response should you actually contract a live virus. There’s no way for a person to get the flu from the flu vaccine.”
The vaccine is recommended for everyone older than six months, including pregnant women. It takes about a month for the shot to have an effect for senior citizens.