Is it too early for a flu shot?

Consumer Reports News: August 12, 2011 11:48 AM

Seasonal flu shots have already begun arriving at drug stores across the country, for $32 for people paying out of pocket. Since the outbreak of the H1N1 flu two years ago, and the recent recommendation that all people older than 6 months get vaccinated, drug manufacturers have ramped up production. That means more doses, and earlier supplies. But the flu season doesn’t usually get going until the fall and winter. Is August too early to get the shot?

No, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They recommend getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available in your community. Whether that is late summer or early fall, the protection will last through the flu season, they say. But it’s important to get vaccinated every year—even though this year’s vaccine is the same as last’s—since protection wanes over time.

This year is the first year that a new intradermal vaccine is available for those 18 to 64. This shot has a shorter needle and is delivered into the skin rather than the muscle.

See our flu poll results and learn about supplements that might help you fight the flu.

Kevin McCarthy


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