As kids return to school and fall weather arrives (okay, it’s 90 F here today instead of 107 F—but it does feel cooler), medical offices and pharmacies across the country are starting to offer flu vaccine. The flu virus (influenza) usually shows up between October and April, so it’s good to get protected as soon as possible.
What’s new about flu vaccine this year? Nothing. It protects against the same three flu virus strains as last year. So, are you off the hook if you got your flu shot last year? Nope—you need a dose this year, too. Immunity lasts for about 6-12 months after getting either the nose spray or shot version of the vaccine.
Anyone who is six months of age or older can get the flu vaccine, but it is especially important for young children, people who live in a home with (or care for) a child under five years of age, kids who have chronic health conditions, pregnant women, women considering becoming pregnant, and women who are breastfeeding during flu season.