MACON, Ga. — It's that time of year again. If you are driving around Bibb County, you may see signs about free flu shots. When do you plan on getting the vaccination? Does it matter when you get the flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months.
Does it matter if you get the shot now or a month from now? What about two months from now? Sabrina Burse set out to verify. Her sources are nurse Lauren Walker at Dr. Catherine Bomberger's office in Macon, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Brian Gueth got his flu shot about a year ago. He says he's not sure if he'll get the vaccination again this year.
"Maybe, if it's offered somewhere for free like Walgreens or somewhere close by," said Gueth.
Gueth says he tries to get the shot when he hears people talk about it, but does it matter when you get it?
Nurse Lauren Walker says it's a tricky question.
"No later than October is kind of the standard recommendation, but it's not like the antibodies expire, so if you miss it, it's not a big deal. It's recommended to get it in the fall season, but get it," said Walker.
So, it's verified -- it doesn't matter when you decide to get the flu vaccination, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says if you get vaccinated later, it can still be beneficial.
The CDC also says the shot will lessen the intensity and duration of the illness if someone happens to still catch the virus after getting the vaccination.
"If you get it in December or November, you are still getting coverage, but you obviously want to have coverage as long as you can to reduce your chances of the flu," said Walker.
Walker says the flu shot reduces your chances of hospitalizations and death in some cases.
"There's people that can't get the flu vaccine, so young children, elderly people, or people that for various health reasons aren't recommended to get it. You are protecting them," said Walker.
Walker recommends that anyone six months of age or older to get the vaccine, including pregnant women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it takes about two weeks after a vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu.
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