As you have fun in the last weeks of summer, here's what you might think: flu shots. They are already here – Rite Aid has just announced that all 2466 of its pharmacies have seasonal medicines available.
Everyone who has the opportunity should take care of the flu every year. But do you have to take one just this moment? The answer is a little complicated.
You want to make sure you get vaccinated beforehand if the flu comes to your area. But there may be potential drawbacks to getting the vaccine too early. According to CDC experts, several studies have shown that flu vaccines decrease during the flu season. Doctors can't predict when the flu season will peak, and if it happens late – say, in early April – those who received the vaccine in August may have lower levels of protection at the most dangerous time.
An analysis by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine shows that waiting until October to get vaccinated in the normal and late flu seasons can be of benefit to the elderly and even save hundreds of lives. The risk is that the flu season may come early, so lead author Dr. Kenneth J. Smith calls it a "balancing act." by the end of October.)
In any scenario, early flu is better than no flu, so if the vaccine is available near you now and you think you may not come back later, then it's best to just do it. Also, there are some people who need to get the flu shot as soon as possible, including certain children who will need two doses of the vaccine.