Flu shots

All the drug stores are advertising them now. Isn’t this too early? Won’t my immunity wear off by January if I get it now?

Just bumping cause I too am interested!

You gain immunity against a particular strain of the flu. It doesn’t really wear out. It’s always a guess as to which strain of the flu will come through in any particular year and they have to make predictions early. But if it is the correct strain then the immunity doesn’t wear out over time. If it’s the incorrect strain then it doesn’t help you.

What I want to know is if the current flu shot, which is being advertised all over, is for the latest strains and not last year’s shot (with or without H1N1). Because I already got that one, long ago.

The current one is for this year’s predicted strains. Immunity from the shot should last until spring, even if you get it in September, and may even extend further than a year.

(Which, compared to other vaccines, is relatively short. Most of the childhood vaccines, and vaccines for tetanus and hepatitis given to adults last at least 10 years. I don’t know why the flu shot confers relatively short immunity.)

Of course, there’s always the risk that the predictions will be wrong and a different strain will be the one to hit your town, but that’s the flu shot biz for ya.

Virus vaccines don’t ‘wear off’…they (the virus’ that is, not the vaccine) simply mutate into a different strain that you are less immune to, until there is a strain that you aren’t immune to at all. That’s why you have to get a new one each year.

Or, what Telemark said. Get the flu shot, regardless. I wish I could MAKE people get the damned things.


During the winter they were predicting that H1N1 would be the biggest strain this fall/winter too, which meant that those of us who already had the flu shot for it wouldn’t need it again even if the virus mutated some, so it’s rather unlikely it will “wear off.” I’m still curious if they expect H1N1 to be big this winter too, though.

I’m not in any of the “risk groups” but I got H1N1 and plain ol’ flu in January, and I don’t want to miss that much work again, so I’m getting vaccinated!

We had H1N1 in September of last year, so now is definitely not too early to get a shot.

The flu vaccine is only good for about 5-7 months, as that is how long it takes for the variety of flu strains to mutate and become resistant against the current vaccine. So a flu vaccine received today, should protect you through February.

This year’s vaccine currently being offered, includes the optimal mix to fight against current flu strains out there including the H1N1. You do not need to get a separate vaccine, like you did last year. All in one dose.

If I’m remembering correctly, it seems like the flu shots always come out in fall here, so I don’t think it’s too early.

I always get a flu shot - I have a husband with asthma and a needle phobia, so I figure my shot helps break the chain of infection for him. Plus, I don’t seem to get as many colds when I get a flu shot, which I understand is probably completely unrelated, but I hate colds and I’ll take any chance to reduce them.

Got mine yesterday at MinuteClinic so I wouldn’t waste an hour seeing my PCP. Stung a little more than the regular flu shot of last year; the H1N1 of last year made my arm a tiny bit weak (85% instead of 100%) and this year’s flu shot is more like that. YMMV, of course. Obviously well worth it, but definitely do get it in your non-dominant arm. I still feel the slight tingle today.

CW, they offer the flu vaccine in a mist form that is inhaled - - no needles required. Maybe your husband should consider going that route. Considering that 13,000 Americans, died last year from the flu, we all should be concerned.

You get flu shots at the drug store?

I did not know that. We’ll have to see if he can get that this year.

I don’t think they’ll give the flu mist to someone with asthma.
From the CDC:

The nasal spray is an attenuated virus vaccine. That means it has (weakened) live viruses in it. So while it’s still unlikely, there’s a better chance that it could accidentally give you the flu than the shot. Most of us wouldn’t have a problem, but if you’re at higher risk should you get the flu* or have a weaker immune system**,which would make infection from the live vaccine more likely, the nasal spray is not a safe option.

*like someone with asthma
**like someone on steroid inhalers to treat asthma

(bolding mine)

How come those other viruses don’t mutate as fast? Or … how come the flu virus mutates faster? (Those questions may or may not be the inverse of each other.)

That’s a great question. I wish I knew the answer to it! :wink:

Yep. It’s common to get flu shots at pharmacies. It’s often a lot easier, faster and cheaper than going to see your regular doctor for one.