The best time to get a flu shot is honestly to get one. No matter when it is within flu season, if you’re being offered a vaccine and you haven’t gotten one already – get it.
When to get a flu shot
That being said, the ideal time is about 1 month before the peak of flu season. Since flu season typically peaks in mid-to-late winter (i.e. January or February), the best time would be November or December. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks for your body to build up immunity and for the flu shot to begin protecting you.
However, many doctor’s offices begin offering the flu shot as early as August, during back-to-school physicals. This has more to do with convenience than timing. Since children are among the most likely to be affected by the flu, it makes sense to encourage vaccines hardest for that demographic.
Most schools require vaccines or a check-up before the school year starts anyway, so rolling the flu shot into that appointment helps guarantee it will actually happen. Afterall, an early flu shot or a late one is better than no flu shot at all.
Where to get a flu shot
However, adults don’t have the same “back-to-school” routine that children do, so it can be more challenging to squeeze a flu shot in. There are several locations where you can get a flu shot that do not require an appointment or time off work.
One of these places is a pharmacy. Take a few extra minutes while picking up prescriptions or while grocery shopping (if your pharmacy is in your supermarket) and go ahead and get the flu vaccine. The downside is that the pharmacy is often busy filling prescriptions and so you may have a longer wait time for a vaccine.
Another location is an urgent care center. Urgent care is typically thought of as a place you go when you have an unexpected illness or injury. However, urgent care centers can also help out with quick medical needs like vaccines for you or your children.
Some of the benefits of urgent care centers include walk-in capability with low wait time, cost-effective care, and fast treatment.
If you or your family need flu shots or have additional questions, contact an urgent care center to get started on the path to protection.
And remember, AFC Urgent Care Arlington provides same-day flu shots whenever you and your family members need an updated vaccination!