Early Influenza Vaccination May Be Less Effective
As the flu season approaches and COVID-19 still in play, it is more important now than ever to recommend the flu shot to patients. The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations to people ages 6 months and up without contraindications.
For more information about who is eligible for an influenza vaccination: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/whoshouldvax.htm
The CDC recommendation for obtaining an influenza vaccine is mid-to-late October for maximum effectiveness. It is important to note that early vaccination against the flu (July and August) may be less effective and require revaccination, especially in elderly patients. For patients that require 2 doses of the flu shot, it is recommended to start early (September) due to having a minimum 4 weeks apart between shots.
As pharmacists, encouraging patients to become vaccinated against the flu is crucial in prevention of an influenza outbreak. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, patients may obtain a flu shot sooner than recommended by the CDC. Patients, especially those 65 years and older, need to be aware that obtaining a flu shot now may be less effective than obtaining one in late October or require another dose.
For more information on the influenza vaccines and CDC guidelines: