Rambhia noted that doctors often want to vaccinate patients who come in for annual or semi-annual visits during the summer…
Rambhia noted that doctors often want to vaccinate patients who come in for annual or semi-annual visits during the summer because they may not have the option otherwise when it would be more optimally timed.
“CDC encourages previous vaccination because of the potentially lost opportunity for people who may not seek the vaccine elsewhere,” he said.
The CDC Advisory Committee recommends that the vaccine comes in late October. The agency says, however, that the vaccine in December or later, although flu activity has already begun, is likely to be beneficial during most seasons. The national flu vaccination week will end in December.
“The recommendation is only that people get the vaccine and have the levels (of antibodies). It takes 1
0-14 days to get the vaccine levels in your system so that you are protected. Choosing the end of October is about making sure people get the vaccine and have the levels, so when the flu hits they have it, “said Tanaya Bhowmick, professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
While the optimal time to vaccinate is before the influenza activity begins, the time season is hard to predict. 75 percent of the last 35 flu season, peak flu activity did not occur until January or later. Influenza activity peaked in February most times over 15 seasons, while peaked in October or November only twice. The historically long and difficult 2017-2018 season saw increased activity nationally until the end of March, with viruses still reported to May.
“Becoming a v accrued in August does not make much sense, especially if we do not know how long it will be, “says Bhowmick.
Although vaccines are available in summer in many places, only about 2.2 percent of Americans get influenza shots by September, according to CDC data from recent seasons. October has consistently been the top month, with 17 percent of people being vaccinated then.