Experts recommend getting the seasonal flu vaccination as early as possible to provide the best protection. The reason why it is important to vaccinate early is that after you receiving the vaccine, it can take 2 to 4 weeks for the antibodies that protect against the influenza virus infection to develop in the body.

The Centers for Disease Control recommend getting the flu shot by the end of October to prepare for peak influenza season, which is typically in February.

Don't worry, the flu shot cannot give you the flu. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine). In randomized, blinded studies, where some people got flu shots and others got saltwater shots, the only differences in symptoms was increased soreness in the arm and redness at the injection site among people who got the flu shot. There were no differences in terms of body aches, fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat.

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