Every year the flu shot saves millions of people from unnecessary complications, hospitalisations and death. Because it is not possible to anticipate who will contract the flu, or how severely you might get it, the Australian government recommends that everyone over the age of six months receive a flu vaccination. Not only is this important for your own health, but it is also important for your community to develop herd immunity from flu viruses and protect vulnerable people who can’t be vaccinated from becoming seriously ill. Let’s take a look at how long does the flu shot last and when you should time yours with your general practitioner.
When Is The Flu Season?
Every year new flu viruses are in circulation. This is because viruses mutate and thus, a new vaccine needs to be developed for each flu season. This means that even if you had previously had a flu shot, you should get one every year.
Traditionally the flu season in Australia runs from June to September and peaks in August.
How Long Does The Flu Shot Last?
The flu shot is most effective in the three to four months after you have been vaccinated. It takes around three weeks for the human body to develop immunity so you should aim to have your flu shot around April or May, to give yourself enough time to develop the antibodies to protect yourself during the peak of the season.
While there is no guarantee that you will not develop the flu, having the vaccine does reduce your chances of getting it. If you do contract the flu and you have been vaccinated you are likely to have a less severe case of it. The flu vaccination is proven to be effective at preventing the flu in six out of every ten healthy adults who are vaccinated.
How To Time Your Flu Vaccination With Your Covid-19 Vaccination?
The flu vaccination and the Covid-19 vaccine are not the same. Even if you have had a Covid-19 vaccine, the local government recommends you get the vaccination to reduce the burden on the healthcare system.
You should allow for a period of seven days between vaccines if you intend on having both. If you are going to have the two-dose Covid-19 vaccine, you would be able to have your flu vaccination between the two doses, if you make sure there are seven days available either way.
What Are The Side Effects Of The Vaccine?
The influenza vaccination does not contain the live virus so you can’t get flu viruses when you are vaccinated. The side effects are usually mild and may mimic the early symptoms of influenza, including fever, muscle aches and tiredness. You may notice these symptoms a few hours after being vaccinated, but they should improve in a day or two.
Any concerns or questions you may have about being vaccinated should be directed to your general practitioner or healthcare practitioner. If you would like to arrange for your seasonal influenza shot, speak to your general practitioner about how best to time it.
To find out more about how long does the flu shot last, please contact us for professional advice: (07) 5613 1531.