If you think you’ve dodged the flu bullet because you haven’t gotten sick so far, you’re wrong. Flu occurrences peak in January and February and the virus is known to hang around until May, even the summertime if you’re that unlucky. You could just try overdosing on echinacea and the unpronounceable oscillococcinum or whatever hippies do. Or you could just get yourself shot up with live cultures with a vaccine and be done with the whole thing. You don’t have to wait until there’s a run on flu shots like there is every year either, we’re here to help you get ahead of the game.
This handy map from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will show the clinics and pharmacies where you can get your flu shots, either by borough or by zip code. There’s also the HealthMap vaccine finder, which is a little less clunky, but doesn’t display the price of your vaccine options. But if you find an option near you, you can plug it into the city map for the price. Or, don’t worry about the price at all: if you already have coverage through the Affordable Care Act congrats you’re already covered as vaccines fall into preventative care. Thanks, Obama!
If you got a flu shot last year you’re still not off the hook. Unlike other vaccines like polio where you get dosed and you’re good for life (those were the days when vaccines lasted a lifetime) the vaccine doesn’t cover you forever from the flu, also known as seasonal influenza. It only lasts for one flu season, ie a year. If you’re afraid of needles many places have the option of a nasal spray form.
Health professionals urge you to get the vaccine due to increased risks of complications if you are pregnant, have diabetes, or asthma. If you have a severe allergy to chicken eggs and usually skipped the shot, there’s a vaccine for you now, so don’t go talking about how you can’t get vaccinated and then get all your friends sick.