Health Team

Dr. Mask: It's ideal time for flu shot

Posted November 14, 2012 6:33 p.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2012 7:04 p.m. EST

Dr. Allen Mask offered these facts about flu season and the importance of getting a flu shot:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months, particularly people at high risk for flu, such as pregnant women and the elderly.
  • You should not get a flu shot if you're allergic to chicken eggs, have had a reaction to the vaccine in the past or have a moderate fever.
  • Mid-November is the best time to get the vaccine, even though some pharmacies begin offering it as early as August. Flu season peaks in mid to late February. 

  • It takes two weeks for the vaccine to kick in and it lasts about 6 months.
  • The flu shot comes in several forms: the regular shot (recommended for anyone aged 6 months or older), a high-dose version for people over the age of 65, a nasal mist available for healthy people between 2 and 49 years old and an intradermal vaccine with a smaller needle for people aged 18 to 64.
  • It's a myth that the flu shot causes people to contract influenza. In fact, most people have no side effects except for some soreness around the injection site. A small number of people may experience mild fever or muscle aches.