As 2022 comes to a close, you may wonder: Is it too late to get a flu shot? The answer is simple: Definitely no.
While getting a flu vaccine is recommended for all eligible individuals 6 months and older each year, it’s especially important this season when we are experiencing the worst flu season in years. Flu activity started earlier than usual in the fall, with more hospitalizations due to flu-like illness recorded through mid-December than in any other season in the past decade. Although typically, flu cases reach a peak level in February, most of the country is currently reporting high or very high levels of flu-like illness. Given the higher rates of influenza among all ages, lower flu vaccination rates among children and pregnant people, reduced mitigation measures against COVID-19—and increasing numbers of people traveling during the holidays and in 2023, as forecast by the U.S. Travel Association—it’s also likely the flu season will last longer than usual, potentially stretching into May.
Typically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend getting vaccinated for the flu by the end of October. But even now, with October looking increasingly farther away in the rear-view mirror, flu vaccines can still help protect you and your loved ones as the flu season continues to ramp up.
So if you’re asking yourself, “Is it too late to get a flu shot?” – you can feel confident knowing that it’s not too late at all—in fact, you can’t get one soon enough. As you make plans for travel and getting together with family and friends, don’t delay in getting a flu vaccine. This year’s flu vaccine is a good match to the circulating strains of flu, but it can only help protect you if you get vaccinated.