October 23, 2020
Dear Sun Peaks Residents
I have been asked questions about the flu vaccine and thought I could hopefully cover them all here.
- Yes, I recommend flu vaccine, especially this year. The last thing we want is to see are patients with Covid-19 and Influenza at the same time. Very serious.
- Peak flu season is January, February and March.
- Flu shots start providing immunity after about 2 weeks and peak in the first couple of months. However, the level of immunity wanes with each month.
- Overall, the flu shots last for about 6 months in otherwise healthy children and adults.
- However, even in healthy adults, studies have shown that flu vaccine benefits can vanish within 90 days of receiving the vaccine. Thus, if you get a vaccine say in September, you may not have any immunity during the flu season.
- In people 65 and over, the flu vaccine wears off earlier and thus may not have much benefit if given too early.
- Ideally, CDC recommends getting flu vaccines in late October. (Thus, the reason we are holding our flu clinic at the end of October. We had considered doing it a week earlier but someone called an election!)
- You can still get a flu vaccine into even January and have some benefit.
Hope this helps clarify some questions.
Shane Barclay MD