No part of the world is entirely safe from it but, armed with a brand-new flu shot every year, doctors and patients are determined to beat back the annual wave of influenza this year and into the future.
Most of us know of the existence of the annual flu shot. Some of us get it every year! But few Americans know how the flu shot actually works, when it’s most effective, and in which month they should roll up their sleeves and get it. Today, we set out to answer all those questions and more in this comprehensive flu shot breakdown. Let’s go!
How the Flu Shot Works
There’s a new flu vaccine every single year. Designed months in advance, researchers determine which strains of influenza A and influenza B are poised to spread in the upcoming flu season and plan work accordingly.
Once created and injected, the vaccine begins training your body’s immune system to react to the first signs of the upcoming flu. There are two types of vaccines: inactivated and live. Where inactivated vaccines are merely a protein coat of the virus in question, whereas live vaccines contain a weakened version of the virus or bacteria.
Flu shots aren’t only available by injection either. Nasal spray alternatives exist, but depending on the year, some are more effective than others.