SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Health doctors are reminding people to get vaccinated against the flu as soon as possible as the window set by the CDC to get your shot just lapsed.

The deadline set by the CDC was Monday but other health experts say better late than never.

“I get my flu shot yearly, it’s just safer that way,” said Timothy Karivolenko of West Springfield.

It’s not too late to get yours with a severe flu season expected this year, but doctors say you should get the shot soon. A typical flu season spans from fall to winter and normally, there is an uptick in cases during October, with a peak between December and February. However, flu activity can last through May.

“It is anticipated that the flu will be circulating soon and if you haven’t gotten the vaccine you may be more vulnerable to the flu,” said Dr. Armando Paez from Baystate Health’s Division of Infection Disease.

According to doctors, a flu outbreak can be devastating for children, in particular children under the age of two who are at a higher risk of the flu this year. Other people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick include:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease
  • Pregnant people

The CDC says due to COVID, the timing and duration of the flu have been less predictable.
Baystate Health doctors tell 22News that even if you’ve waited to get the flu shot, it’ll still be effective.

Dr. Paez said, “Yes, it is still effective. It’s just more of the timing of the maximum protection of when you get the flu shot.” Dr. Paez adds that if you have recently become sick with the flu, once you’ve recovered, get the vaccine as soon as possible.

The CDC says people with the flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins. You can stop the spread by wearing a mask and washing your hands.