5 Things to Know this Flu Season
The flu is serious, contagious, and potentially fatal, especially for those with underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Did you know, last year close to 2,000 New Yorkers died from influenza and pneumonia? The best way to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of the flu is by getting a flu shot every year. Everyone six months and older should get vaccinated for the flu every year.
Experts don’t know when flu season will start, how severe it will be, or how long it will last, but they know it’s coming. Here are five things everyone needs to know this flu season:
- Who should get vaccinated?
The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for anyone 6 months of age and older, and is proven safe for pregnant women.
- When does the flu season start?
The timing, length, and severity of the flu season can vary widely from year to year. In the U.S., flu often peaks around January-February, but flu activity can begin as early as October and continue into May.
- Can I get flu from the vaccine?
No, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. If vaccinated individuals do become ill with flu-like symptoms, it is likely because they already contracted flu before vaccination, or have contracted some other type of contagious illness, such as a common cold.
- Does the vaccine protect me from flu right away?
No. It takes 1-2 weeks after getting vaccinated before you’re protected from the flu strains in the vaccine. That is why NYC Health + Hospitals encourages New Yorkers to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
- If I was vaccinated last year, do I need another flu vaccine this year?
Yes. The vaccine offered in any given year is only good for that flu season, and is specifically developed to prevent the influenza viruses that are expected to be most prevalent that year. Each year the vaccine changes.
- Need a flu shot? Find an NYC Health + Hospitals health center near you to get vaccinated.