Best time to get a flu shot?  Doctor's Point of view.

Fall season usually means the start of people wearing cozy sweaters, sipping pumpkin spice lattés — and getting the flu. 

During the 2020-2021 flu season, flu activity was “unusually low,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thanks to COVID safety measures, such as more people wearing masks, upping their hand washing hygiene and staying home. 

But when exactly should you get one? And can you get a flu shot at the same time as the Omicron booster? Here’s what experts say. 

The flu is actually caused by several different influenza viruses. The two types of viruses responsible for most people getting seasonal flu are influenza A and influenza B, and they each have their own subtypes and groups. 

Because flu viruses are constantly changing, along with the fact that immunity wanes over time, the flu vaccine is reformulated each year for better protection. 

There’s even an organization — The World Health Organization’s Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System, which was established in 1952 — that monitors the frequent changes in influenza viruses.  

the vaccine will have an “almost perfect match” with one of the strains that’s circulating. He adds: “It’s always hard to have a perfect vaccine for all of the viruses that are circulating. But you don’t always have to have a perfect match to have cross protection.” 

“The best time to get the flu vaccine is around October” so you’re protected for flu season, noting that the flu shot is “usually in full effect two weeks after receiving the vaccine.” 

Everyone 6 months or older should get the flu vaccine that’s appropriate for their age, says Conroy, unless your health care provider indicates otherwise. 

However, if you haven’t already gotten your recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends getting them as soon as possible, followed by a flu vaccine by the end of October.