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What is the best time for flu shot 2022?

An unusual surge in flu cases in the Southern Hemisphere are noticed early this season.

The Australian flu season usually starts from May to September, but this season the number of flu cases from mid-April exceeded the 5-year average (children younger than 5 and those aged between 5 and 19 had the highest rates of reported flu). This is suggestive that this season may be a really bad season in the Northern Hemisphere too.

Also in U.S., flu season has been started early this year as we saw patients admitted to hospitals in May and June treating for influenza which is highly unusual.

Social distancing and mask wearing may decrease number of people being infected with flu, but people haven't been building up immunity which will lead to severe cases if infected. 

The flu shot helps to protect you from severe and long flu infection. It’s made based on the strains that scientists predict will be most popular during the upcoming flu season. Because of this, it can vary in effectiveness from year to year.

Flu shot benefits

There are many benefits of flu shot:

  • Flu shot helps prevent serious illness like pneumonia or the worsening of underlying health conditions
Some individuals are more at risk for serious complications from the flu. This includes:

    • adults aged 65 and older
    • children younger than 5 years old
    • pregnant women
    • people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes
    • those with a weakened immune system

Getting the flu vaccine may help protect these higher-risk individuals from contracting the flu and potentially becoming very ill.

  • Flu shot may reduce the severity of flu symptoms if you get infected with flu
  • When many people within a community get the flu shot, it can help prevent influenza viruses from effectively circulating within that community.

Flu shot recommendations

For the 2022/2023 flu season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that every person over 6 months of age should take flu shot.

This year, there are six vaccines for the flu shot, including egg-free vaccines, a nasal spray vaccine, and higher potency vaccines for those aged 65 and over.

In June, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to preferentially recommend three higher potency flu vaccines for people aged 65 and older.

In this age group, these specific vaccines may produce a more effective immune response than the standard dose as this population suffers the most severe symptoms of influenza if they infected.

Best time to get a flu shot?

You should take flu shot early but not too early, even if it is available.

With recent data showing that the flu shot protection lasts only between four and six months it’s been recommended to push back the vaccination date to late September or early October to provide the maximum protection during the peak months of infection.

The CDC recommends that it is best to take flu shot before influenza starts circulating in the community, with September and October being good times to be vaccinated.

It recommends that everyone should should take flu shot by the end of October.

However, in some cases, early vaccination can be considered:

  • Some children require two shots of flu vaccine and these children can take their first shot as soon as vaccines are available, even if this is in July or August.
  • Women in the third trimester of pregnancy can also consider an early vaccination.

It will take two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop protection against influenza infection.

Note that taking last year’s vaccine is not a good idea, as vaccine protection decreases over time and the influenza viruses change every year, which is why an annual vaccine is necessary and recommended.

Every year, influenza vaccine is updated to protect against the most prominent strains of influenza virus.

With a “twindemic” of both COVID-19 and influenza expected this winter, experts say the influenza vaccination is an important tool to prevent respiratory illness.

Some common questions about flu shot

Why a flu shot is essential for People with Heart Disease, lung diseases and diabetes?

People with chronic illnesses as heart diseases, lung diseases and diabetes especially those older individuals can experience more serious complications from influenza, and vaccination against the flu can save the lives of these people.

Also, for people with cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) says the flu shot can lower one’s risk of hospitalization and other major health events, such as heart attacks or strokes, and death.

Flu can weaken the body to the point where they may not recover especially in older adults.

Is the nasal spray vaccine as effective as the flu shot?

Most of flu vaccines are given as an injection. These vaccines is made up from inactivated (“dead”) flu virus or only single viral proteins.

The nasal spray vaccine is sprayed into your nose. It’s made up of virus that’s been weakened so it can’t develop an infection.

The nasal spray vaccine wasn’t recommended because it had less effectiveness in children against specific types of influenza viruses.

However, there have been improvements in the manufacturing process of this vaccine and some studies indicates that the effectiveness of the nasal spray vaccine is now similar to that of the flu shot.

Because of this, the nasal spray vaccine has been recommended since the 2018–2019 flu season and no preference for one type of vaccine over another.


Experts expects that the flu season in the United States could start early this year and it will be stronger this season because of low cases during COVID-19 pandemic, a situation that has made a gap in immunity.

They recommend that the best time to take flu shot is probably in September or October. They also note the vaccines’ protection lasts only from four to six months, so it’s important not to take flu shot too early.

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