Flu shots in February? Yes. Flu is active all over the U.S. Getting a flu shot during flu season can still help protect you. Flu season sometimes lasts into May. If you get vaccinated now, your full immunity may take about 2 weeks , but you do get some protection right away. Limited protection is still better than no protection.
Flying on an airplane this winter will increase your chances of getting sick. Let’s say you are headed on vacation. You are flying for several hours in an enclosed area with lots of people from all over the world, all breathing the same air and touching the same surfaces. Now, add to that, that the humidity of air in an airplane is close to that of the Sahara dessert.
Our mucous membranes that line our mouths and noses are our main defense against viral invasion. Dry air caused micro cracks in mucous membranes that then act as open doors to the viruses you inhale. It is estimated that your risk of catching a cold on an airplane is 100 times that of exposure on the ground. So, in about 1-2 days, the average incubation period for influenza virus, you come down with the flu- fever, chills, cough. You know the feeling. Not only have you ruined your vacation, but then in a few days you’ll get on a plane to head home where someone else is going to breath your air and the whole process just continues.
So, why not just get a flu shot? Call your primary care provider or travel clinic. It’s not too late and there is no shortage of vaccine.