Doctor: Now is the Best Time to Get the Flu Vaccine

Doc advises the sooner you get the vaccine, the more immunity to the flu you can build

Tom Puckett
October 16, 2019 - 4:00 am

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) If you're wondering when is the best time to get the flu vaccine, one area doctor says it's right now.

"You want to give yourself a couple of weeks of immunity, so if you get it now, you'll have it before the end of October," says Dr. Stephen Turkovich of Oishei Children's Hospital. "Flu season will peak anywhere between December and February, and sometimes can last as late as May," and Turkovich notes last year was the longest flu season on record.

There will be two types of vaccine this year, says Turkovich. "Either a vaccine called a trivalent, which has three viruses or the quadrivalent, which has four viruses. Each one has been modified slightly so they are more consistent with the viruses circulating around the world," he explains. He says getting the vaccine reduces the risk of things oing from bad to worse. "We know the flu vaccine, even if it's not a good match, will prevent severe illness. Getting the vaccine will prevent the flu from anywhere from 48 to 60 percent according to studies, and if you do get the flu, it dramatically decreases your risk of being hospitalized or being in the ICU."

Turkovich says there are flu mist and injection available. "The nasal flu mist forms are targeted for older people and some are targeted for younger ages," notes Turkovich. But is one better than the other? "There were some studies the injeciton was better, but we know getting the vaccine, either by injection or vaccine is better than no vaccine at all," says Turkovich.

He debunks the biggest myth of getting the flu vaccine. "You can't get the flu. But you can get an inflammatory response, which will make you feel a little lousy, have a low grade fever. It has nothing to do with the flu and it only lasts a day or so," explains Turkovich. 

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