How Long Is the Flu Shot Good For? Answers From the Physicians at UHealth Jackson Urgent Care – Cutler Bay
You received an influenza vaccine just last year – do you really need another one? How long is the flu shot good for? This topic can be a bit confusing, mainly because the need for repeat vaccinations can vary widely depending on the specific disease (e.g., measles, tetanus, influenza) that a vaccine is intended to ward off.
In general, according to the board-certified, UHealth – the University of Miami Health System physicians at UHealth Jackson Urgent Care – Cutler Bay, a flu shot will provide protection from the most common influenza viruses for approximately one year. This means that to fully protect yourself, you need to receive an annual flu vaccine.
However, the “one year” guideline is just that – a guideline. More specifically, the duration of the protection provided by a flu shot depends in large part on the magnitude of the immune system’s response to the virus. In a relatively young and healthy person, the protection could conceivably last for a few years. On the other hand, the protective effects can potentially wear off much sooner in elderly individuals and those with compromised immune systems.
With all of that said, the physicians at UHealth Jackson Urgent Care – Cutler Bay caution that there is another important reason for most people to get a flu shot every year. Many flu viruses are able to mutate at an alarmingly fast pace. Therefore, in order to keep up and ensure adequate protection, the vaccine must be regularly reformulated to match the currently circulating strains of the virus.
While how long the flu shot is good for can vary, your best course of action is to receive an annual vaccine as close to early October as possible. If you haven’t received one yet this year, UHealth Jackson Urgent Care – Cutler Bay can help. Stop in and see us today – you don’t need an appointment.