When's the best time to get a flu shot? - CHI Health, Nebraska (NE) - Southwest Iowa (IA)

Krista Hill, M.D., family practice physician, Alegent Creighton Clinic - HarmonyStreet, Council Bluffs
Find out more about Dr. Hill.

Q: When’s the best time to get a flu shot?

A: Since flu season can start as early as October, it’s best to get vaccinated in October or November. But, if you aren’t vaccinated during these two months don’t skip the shot altogether. The flu season can continue into May, so shots in December and later can still be effective.

Each year, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu, so vaccines are a good idea for just about anyone. Even if you’re in good health, you can save yourself a week of feeling lousy and decrease the risk of passing the flu along to someone who might be at risk for complications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s particularly important for these individuals to be vaccinated:

  • Children age 6 to 23 months
  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • Children 2 years old or older who have an underlying, long-term illness
  • Pregnant women
  • Those living in nursing homes or other chronic-care residences
  • Kids and teens from 6 months to 18 years who take aspirin daily.
  • Healthcare workers
  • Adults who have or care for an infant under 6 months old.