With the beginning of the new year, flu season resumed across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 states report high levels of influenza activity.
The virus has already killed 13 children so far during the influenza season. Last year, the flu killed more than 80,000 Americans, including a record 185 children.
The best protection against the flu is the vaccine against influenzabut is it too late to get vaccinated?
The short answer is no. Although the CDC recommends that people be vaccinated against influenza by the end of October, getting vaccinated later may still be beneficial.
"As long as influenza viruses circulate, it's not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later," the CDC says on its website.
The timing of seasonal influenza outbreaks varies and can begin as early as late October. Influenza activity tends to peak between December and February but may last until May.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the flu virusThus, the earlier the shot is administered, the better. But if you have not already done so, there are several reasons to get vaccinated.
"It is recommended that people continue to be vaccinated against influenza if they have not done so," said Dr. David Cennimo, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers School of Medicine. New Jersey. "Even if you think you've already had the flu, it's possible to contract a second infection with a different strain, so immunization can still be beneficial."
Healthy adults can also offer what is called group immunity to others by getting vaccinated against the flu. The larger the number of people vaccinated, the less likely the virus is to spread – protecting the most vulnerable, including babies, older adults and people with compromised immune systems.
Of course, it is still possible to catch the flu even if you get the flu shot, but that does not mean you should not be vaccinated.
"It's better than nothing, and even if you go, catch the flu can make this flu less deadlyDr. Jonathan LaPook, Chief Medical Correspondent of CBS News, told CBS This Morning in December.
He added that this year 's vaccine is about 40% effective, which is comparable to last year' s vaccine. He also pointed out that although many people do not get vaccinated, fearing that this is the cause of the flu, this is "scientifically impossible".
"You can not catch the flu from vaccine against influenza, "LaPook said. Some people have a little reaction, pain, maybe a low fever, but you take anti-inflammatory drugs and it goes away. "