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With flu season peaking between December and February, it’s time to get your annual flu vaccination. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and begin protecting you from the flu, so getting vaccinated early is crucial for staying healthy through the fall and winter months.

Last year, the flu hospitalized over half a million people in the U.S., resulting in over 50,000 deaths. This year, experts say it may be even worse.

Who should get a flu vaccine?

Anyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated every year. Adults 65 and older, people with chronic health conditions and women who are pregnant should make getting vaccinated a top priority, since they are at a higher risk of developing life-threating complications from the flu.

Children under the age of 6 months and those with severe allergies to the flu vaccine should not be vaccinated.

Benefits of getting vaccinated

In addition to protecting you from the flu, the vaccine can also reduce the risk of developing severe symptoms if you do contract the virus. The vaccine also reduces the risk of the virus spreading among the people around you.

For the 2019-2020 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine, including an injectable flu vaccine (shot) or a nasal spray.

Flu vaccines are available at most local pharmacies and at your doctor’s office. UCF Health offers flu vaccinations at its East Orlando and Lake Nona locations.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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