Every year brings with it different strains of the flu virus and integral to staying safe, is making sure you receive your flu shot annually by your general practitioner. This is because this year’s flu shot has been designed specifically to protect you against the year’s flu strains. Today we are going to take a closer look at the question ‘how long does the flu shot last’.
How Does The Flu Vaccine Work?
Every year new flu vaccines are developed in response to the dominant flu viruses in circulation, the result of intensive research that predicts what the most dominant strains are likely to be for the flu season in question. They are developed to provide protection against two influenza viruses: influenza A and influenza B. trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines are effective against a combination of A and B types viruses.
When Does The Flu Vaccine Start Working?
The flu vaccination becomes effective two weeks after it is administered. This is how long it takes for your body to start developing those antibodies. You should remember that you are still susceptible to contracting the flu in this interim period.
How Long Does The Flu Shot Last?
The longer the flu vaccination stays in your body, the less effective it becomes.
This will occur whether you have had flu viruses or if you received a flu shot.
It’s important to have your flu shot every year because the vaccines are strain-specific and will not offer the same level of protection in the new season.
What’s The Best Time To Get The Flu Shot?
Your immunity will peak three to four months after receiving the vaccine so you should time your shot so that you achieve peak immunity at the peak of flu season, which runs from June to September, with a peak in August. That would mean April or May would be the best times to have a flu shot.
How Effective Is The Flu Shot?
Having a vaccine can prevent five or six out of every ten potential cases of the flu. The flu is a virus that kills and hospitalises millions of people every year, with preventable symptoms.
It is quick and convenient to get a flu vaccination, which is available from your general practitioner. The Australian government recommends that everyone over the age of six months of age get their flu vaccination, to avoid unnecessary illness.
Side effects are rare and minimal. It is not a live vaccine so you do not actually contract the flu.
Should You Get A Second Shot?
The vaccine is designed to be effective for the duration of the flu season, to provide you with suitable protection against the dominant flu viruses. Your general practitioner will not recommend a second shot, and that you should rather wait until the following flu season before getting another flu vaccination.
If you have questions about flu viruses or would like to find out more about ‘how long does the flu shot last’ please contact us for an appointment with a general practitioner: (03) 9008 1923.