Two Flu Shots Are No Better Than One
The protection you get from the flu shot wanes over time , leading to rumors that we should all ask for a second flu shot in the spring. Not so fast! The current recommendation – to get one flu shot, ideally in the fall – is still your best bet.
“Based on what we know about the relatively short-term increases in antibody levels that our current influenza vaccines provide, I think it’s realistic to believe that this decline towards the end of the season is happening,” says Richard Webby , a researcher in St. Jude. who is also one of those who decide which flu vaccines will be used each year. But that doesn’t mean you need to double the number of throws.
(Young children do need two shots, but only at the first flu shot. And they should get both shots before the flu season. On the other hand, people over 65 can make up for their weakness. The immune system by getting a single high-dose vaccine instead of the usual vaccines .)
It is best to get one flu shot in October to make sure it fully works before the flu starts circulating in your area. However, if you wait a little longer, you are at risk. Webby notes that it is best to bet early and take the risk at the end of the season. If, instead, you postpone your shot in the fall, you will miss out on defense early in the season for no good reason.
So what about a second flu shot in the spring? Unfortunately, there is no evidence to help. There is also a chance that the booster shot will make you slightly less protected. “There is some speculation that getting the flu shot too often could actually reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine, or even reduce the response you get to another subsequent dose,” says Webby. “While there is no opinion on this yet, for me the potential disadvantages of vaccinations at the end of the season outweigh any benefits.”
So if you want to boost your immunity against the flu after you’ve gotten the flu shot, you’ll have to do it in more traditional and tedious ways, like getting enough sleep and washing your hands .