Fortunately, flu vaccine has been in very good supply the last few years and many pediatricians and flu clinics have actually been able to start vaccinating kids early.
Late Flu ShotsSo when is it too late to get vaccinated against the flu?
Since the CDC recommends that flu "vaccine should continue to be offered to unvaccinated people throughout the flu season as long as vaccine is still available," it it really never too late.
When Should You Get A Flu ShotWhile ideally you should have gotten your flu shot by October or November, that sometimes doesn't happen.
The early start to this year's flu season might have caught some of you by surprise, so that you simply didn't have time to get your kids their flu vaccine. Others might have waited, thinking they didn't need one, but then became concerned about the reports of how bad this year's flu season has been.
As of early-April, the CDC is finally reporting that flu season is drawing to a close and that the "season has peaked and activity is winding down."
Of course, it would have been better to get a flu shot much earlier so that you are protected for the full flu season. But if you consider that flu activity might continue through April or May, a flu vaccine now can still protect you for a few months.
Finding Flu ShotsBecause of the flu shot delays and shortages in past years, finding a flu shot, even if you want one, may have been difficult. The supply of flu shots was good this year though and most pediatricians and clinics likely have had a good supply of flu shots.
Increased demand because of reports of the early, intense flu season has a lot of people looking for flu vaccine who might otherwise have skipped getting vaccinated though. That could mean that your doctor is already out by now.
If your own pediatrician is out of flu shots, you might check with your local health department, hospital, or pharmacies, and find a flu shot wherever you can.
On the bright side, early estimates indicate that this year's flu vaccine has "moderate effectiveness against circulating influenza viruses."
CDC. FluView. 2012-2013 Influenza Season Week 14 ending April 6, 2013
CDC. Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2012-13 Influenza Season. MMWR. August 17, 2012 / 61(32);613-618