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Medical News & Perspectives
December 11, 2018

Is It Possible to Get a Flu Shot Too Early?

JAMA. 2018;320(22):2299-2301. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.18373

Drugstores and supermarkets begin exhorting customers to come in for a flu shot when they’re more likely to be shopping for sunscreen and potato salad than cough drops and Halloween candy.

For years, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised getting a flu shot by the end of October, if possible, before influenza viruses begin to circulate, but the question of whether it’s ever too early to get immunized remains unsettled. That’s become more of an issue because influenza vaccine has become available sooner each year than it used to be.

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