BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) – Have you seen the signs for the flu shot? They are popping up across Connecticut. Yes — flu season is upon us.
Typically — it takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to kick in and coverage is for about six months.
Dr. Zane Saul, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Bridgeport Hospital explains why — now is not the optimal time to get it.
“The peak season is January & February. But last year it went all the way to May. So in my opinion, it’s a little early to get the flu shot now. The best time to get it is in the fall.”
When is the best time to get the flu shot?
“The month of October is when we recommend people get their flu shots. That will give you peak protection during the worst of the flu season which is January and February.”
Why are we seeing the flu vaccine reminders?
“August is when the manufacturers ship it. That’s why the pharmacies start promoting it. If this is your only chance and you don’t think you’re going to be in the pharmacy again, then get your flu shot now while you’re there.”
Dr. Saul says — it’s better than no protection.
“The best we ever do is about 50% which is so much more protection than you would get with nothing. Even if we’re down to 30 or 40% or even 20%, it can help make a big impact on the extent of the flu and the complications of the flu that could occur afterwards.”
Who should wait until the fall?
“People that have chronic illnesses, people that are over 65, those kind of folks really should wait and get the flu shot more into the fall than in the late summer.”
What can you tell us about the latest treatment for the flu?
“You get diagnosed with the flu. If you catch it within the first 48 hours of symptoms, you take this one pill, one time only. Prescribed by you provider and it can actually help get the symptoms better and back to work or back to school one day sooner than just taking over the counter medications and sweating it out at home.”
Also, for those 65 years and older, there are high dose flu vaccines available.
Have a health question? Be sure to send it to News 8OnCall@wtnh.com.