CHARLOTTE, N.C. — October brings pumpkins, fall leaves, Halloween costumes and cool weather. It also kicks off the start of the cold and flu season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza, also known as the flu, never quite goes away and its peak season varies each year. Typically, flu season ramps up in October before reaching a fever pitch between December and February.
With the U.S. still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are wondering when they should get their flu shot.
Is October the best time to get your flu shot?
Yes, Bregier says October is the best time to take the flu shot.
WHAT WE FOUND:
According to the CDC, the flu peak varies from year to year but they suggest people get vaccinated by the end of October.
"There is some reasoning behind saying that October probably is the best month," Bregier said. "That's because the immunity we get from the flu vaccine lasts about six months, and flu season usually starts in November, then December it builds into January and February."
Bregier said a dose of the flu vaccine delivered in October will give someone protection through March, past the usual peak of flu season.
"It often peaks in January or February," Bregier said. "We have had some years, though, it has peaked in March and some years it's peaked as early as November."
According to the CDC, 55% of people in North Carolina and about half of South Carolinians received their flu vaccine in 2020.
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