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Monday, October 10, 2022

The CDC Recommends Getting a Flu Shot By the End of October 2022

With flu season just around the corner, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that most U.S. residents and citizens get a flu shot by the end of October 2022. While flu activity tends to peak around February, the number of infections typically starts increasing during the fall months, with October typically being the first month with a noticeable rise in cases.

According to the CDC:

“For most people who need only one dose of flu vaccine for the season, September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated against flu. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October.”

However, there are some exceptions. For example, the CDC notes that for some people it is safer not to get the flu shot. The CDC also notes that for children who need two doses of the flu vaccine, “it is recommended to get the first dose as soon as [the] vaccine is available.” Additionally, while some people can get vaccinated as early as July or August, the CDC indicates that waiting until September or October can provide greater protection for some others, and “especially those 65 years and older.”

Answers to Common Questions About the Annual Flu Shot

Do you have questions about the annual flu shot? If so, you are not alone. Here are answers to some common questions about the annual flu shot:

Can You Get the Flu from the Flu Shot?

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. While some flu shots contain a “live” influenza virus, this is an attenuated (or weakened) version of the virus that, while strong enough to trigger an immune response, is not strong enough to cause an infection.

If that is the case, then why do some people get the flu after getting the flu shot? As the CDC explains, “[i]t takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body.” In other words, even once you get the flu shot, the flu shot isn’t fully effective for approximately 14 days. Additionally, the flu shot’s effectiveness can vary, so getting the flu shot doesn’t always protect against the flu.

How Effective is the Annual Flu Shot?

The answer to this question varies from year to year. Each flu season, the CDC and other health authorities around the globe make an educated guess about the flu strains that are likely to be most prevalent in the coming months. Vaccine manufacturers then formulate their flu shots to target these strains. If different strains prove to be more prevalent, then the flu shot can prove to be relatively ineffective.

For example, for the 2021-2022 flu season, the CDC estimates that the flu shot was effective at preventing infection in just 14 percent of cases. But, during prior flu seasons, the flu shot’s vaccine effectiveness (VE) rating has been as high as 60 percent.

Where Can I Go To Get a Flu Shot?

Individuals in the United States have several options when it comes to getting their annual flu shots. Hospitals and doctors’ offices provide flu shots to patients, as do pharmacies, clinics and other health care providers. You can use the CDC’s Vaccine Finder to locate a flu shot provider in your geographic area.

Can I Get a Flu Shot if I Have an Egg Allergy?

The CDC advises that “[p]eople with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine (IIV4, RIV4, or LAIV4) that is otherwise appropriate.” As the CDC also notes, the quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine and quadrivalent cell-based flu vaccine are both “completely egg-free.” Even so, the CDC recommends that individuals who have a history of severe egg allergy “should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions.”

Can I Get a Flu Shot if I Am Pregnant?

Yes, you can get a flu shot while you are pregnant, provided that it is otherwise safe to do so. According to the CDC, “You can get a flu shot at any time, during any trimester, while you are pregnant.” However, the CDC recommends against the nasal spray flu vaccine for women who are pregnant.

Can I Get the Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine for the 2022-2023 Flu Season?

The nasal spray flu vaccine is available for the 2022-2023 flu season. As the CDC explains, the nasal spray flu vaccine “is approved for use in healthy non-pregnant people, 2 through 49 years old[, although p]eople with certain medical conditions should not get the nasal spray flu vaccine.” Along with women who are pregnant, those in the 2-49 age group who should not get the nasal spray flu vaccine include (but are not limited to):

  • Individuals who have a history of severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the nasal spray flu vaccine

  • Children between the ages of 2 and 17 who take medications containing aspirin or salicylate

  • Children between the ages of 2 and 4 who have asthma or who have had a history of wheezing in the past 12 months

  • Individuals who have weakened immune systems due to any cause

What Vaccine Injuries Have Been Linked to Flu Shots?

While the annual flu shot is generally considered safe for most people, certain vaccine injuries have been linked to the CDC’s recommended influenza immunizations. Although relatively rare, injuries that may result from the receipt of a flu shot include:

Learn About Your Rights Under the VICP Following a Flu Shot Injury

For individuals who are diagnosed with flu shot injuries, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides a source of financial recovery. If you need to know more about your rights under the VICP, you can call 202-800-1711 or send us a message online to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

 

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.


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