A Doctor’s Advice: Get Your Flu Shot Before Holidays

Many people are beginning their holiday preparations. Northern Virginia adult and family medicine physician Jason Singh, MD, said people should add one more thing to their list of preparations: a flu shot. He spoke with WJLA about why it’s important to get a flu shot before the holidays.

“What I tell my patients is in the last two years we’ve seen like an incredible decrease in common circulating viruses, mainly due to restriction protocols for masking and social distancing,” Dr. Singh said. “Because of that, overall immunity has been low for just not being exposed to the traditional pathogens in the environment. And so now, it may be back in full force during fall and winter.”

Dr. Singh said he has been seeing an uptick in viral illnesses since October. He said it is important to get vaccinated now in order to stay protected when interacting with people during the holidays.

“Generally, two weeks after you’ve gotten over the flu infection or COVID infection you can get the vaccine because the antibodies for the vaccine may still be different from the antibodies that you develop naturally from the infection,” Dr. Singh explained. “It takes about two weeks for [people] to develop antibodies to the vaccine.”

Kaiser Permanente members can get a flu shot or COVID-19 boosters at 34 of our medical centers. To make an appointment, complete an E-visit on the KP app or kp.org or call 1-800-777-7904.