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Yes, it's too late to get your flu shot to be effective for Thanksgiving

But doctors say you should still get it now to be prepared for the December holiday season!

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The number of Americans getting their flu shots is lower than previous years, but flu cases are rising. 

The CDC is reporting elevated flu activity across the country. In Jacksonville, doctors are seeing cases as well and worry that gathering together in crowds this week could ramp up positive cases.

QUESTION: Is it too late to get your shot to protect yourself during your Thanksgiving travel?

ANSWER: Yes.

   

This is true.

Let’s Verify.

My sources today are:

  • Assistant Chief Medical Officer with UF Health Jacksonville Dr. Chirag Patel
  • System Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at Baptist Health Jacksonville Dr. Shalika Katugaha

" Typically any vaccine is going to have a ramp up period in your body," Patel said. "Your body is going to recognize the vaccine and it is going to start building your immune response based on how the vaccine was made up."

He says it takes 2 to 4 weeks for your body to build up its immune response.

If you got a flu shot the day before Thanksgiving, it wouldn’t protect you in time. However, doctors say flu vaccine numbers are down so the more people who get vaccinated the better.

"There are still benefits of getting it now," Katugaha said. "So please get your flu shot."

"You could go out tomorrow and get your flu shot or COVID shot and definitely be ready for Christmas time and New Years," Patel said. 

The Florida Health Department says flu season continues through May so doctors argue it is never too late to get your shot. 

You can get your flu shot at pharmacies without appointments. It is free!

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