With months to go in this year’s flu season, the flu shot remains the best way to protect yourself from the potentially debilitating virus.

In fact, even if you’ve already been sick with the flu this season, it’s still important to get a flu shot if you haven’t yet done so. It could protect you from getting sick again.

Every major medical group recommends an annual flu shot. Here are five things doctors want you to know about the vaccine:

It’s not perfect, but it may save your life

Infectious disease experts convene every February to determine which strains should be covered for the upcoming flu season, which runs from roughly October to April or May. The vaccine must be tweaked every year because influenza viruses are constantly changing and mutating. Multiple flu strains circulate in any given year, and the yearly vaccine aims to protect against three or four of the most likely strains.

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