Fall is rapidly approaching and soon we will be seeing signs and reminders to get your flu shot. This is certainly a good reminder and getting a flu shot is something I strongly recommend. However, pharmacies will want you to get this shot as soon as possible, the end of August and beginning of September. This is not the best time to get a flu shot. Mid October through November is the best time to get your flu shot. The flu usually starts after the Christmas holidays and generally peaks in February/March. If you get your shot too early you may not be totally covered by vaccine at time when the flu peaks.
I have heard people saying, “I always get the flu after getting my shot.” First of all the influenza shot contains the dead virus in a small amount to get your immune system prepared to fight off the flu virus. There probably have been some people who did get the flu after shot, but they may be already infected with the virus. If you get the live vaccine, a nasal spray, well that could happen but it generally doesn’t if you are healthy at time of administration.
Fall also brings us all the fresh fruit and vegetables. Most of us wash our fruit and vegetables before eating them. This is just a reminder to wash fruit such as cantaloupe, and melons too. Even though you do not eat the outer shell, a knife cutting through the fruit can and has contaminated the fruit inside.
Stay healthy, get your flu shot and wash your raw fruits and vegetables as well as your hands.