The 2014-2015 Flu Season is upon us again. Flu Season usually (not always) reaches its peak during the months of December through February but the CDC recommends the vaccine be taken as soon as it becomes available. Why? Because it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop once the vaccine is given. The sooner the vaccine is given the more protection one is offered. If a person waits until later in the season, they may be exposed to someone who already has the flu during the two weeks the body is trying to develop antibodies to the vaccine. Without enough time to develop antibodies, the vaccine would not be effective.
It is actually possible for a person to transmit the flu virus one day before they have developed signs and symptoms of the disease and before they realize they are ill. They remain infectious to others for 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. For these reasons, it is definitely more advantageous to receive the flu vaccine before flu season is in full swing. If a person has waited just go ahead and get the vaccine as soon as possible.
This year the Flu Vaccine contains these strains: Per the CDC, all of the 2014-2015 influenza vaccine is made to protect against the following three viruses:
- an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- an A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus
- a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus. Some of the 2014-2015 flu vaccine also protects against an additional B virus (B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus).
Remember, evidence based research has proven there is no “catching the flu” from the vaccine. The flu vaccine may not always be effective; in some cases the vaccine may be given after the person has been exposed. The vaccine is designed to prevent infection from the three circulating main viruses, but could miss effectiveness for a strain not covered in the vaccine. Taking the vaccine will reduce the chance of developing disease, it isn’t 100% effective but it substantially reduces the risk of developing a severe case of the flu which is so vitally important to those at high risk such as young children, the elderly and those with acute and chronic medical conditions.
Be sure to visit the CDC website for more information CDC Seasonal Flu Web Site