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San Antonio, TX
A 41-year-old male asked:

When is the best time to get a flu shot? early or mid flu season. by getting it early does the vaccine not wane?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
Vaccine: The flu vaccine will result in immunization to that strain of the influenza virus. It is not like an antibiotic that is metabolized in your system once you take it.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Early vs late: The antibodies generated by seasonal flu vaccine will last for years against the strains in the vaccine.People get confused about protection, because in a given season, the vaccine can only cover 3-4 strains, while there may be a new strain emerg that is not in the vaccine.Waiting until late in the fall only increases your risk you will be unprotected against an early exposure.
Dr. Michael Ein
Dr. Michael Ein commented
Infectious Disease 48 years experience
Antibodies against Influenza generated after vaccination only last 1 year which is why you need annual vaccination even if there are no new strains in the vaccine.
Nov 5, 2013
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Provided original answer
The antibodies are only good for the strains they are designed to prevent. The strains change yearly so one years vaccine is not adequate for future years.The antibodies are detectable for years after administration.
Nov 6, 2013

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Last updated Dec 10, 2013

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