How Long Does a Flu Vaccine Last?

If you received a flu vaccine last season, you might wonder whether you need a new flu shot. However, this depends on the date of your last flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is 90% effective against the flu, and one dose provides 12-month protection. If your doctor recommends a flu shot, consider the date of your last vaccine.

Most doctors receive a stock of vaccinations at the beginning of September. However, some people postpone their shot until late in the season – perhaps January or February. If you received a flu vaccination months after the start of flu season, this shot may protect you for the first few months of the next flu season.

Understand, however, that new strains of the flu develop each year. If you wait to get the new flu shot, coming in contact with a new strain increases your chances of becoming sick. But there are ways to protect yourself. Wash your hands frequently, avoid sick people, don’t touch your face and get a new flu vaccination as soon as you hit the 12-month mark.

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