With the peak of flu season typically coming after the new year, getting a flu vaccine can be even more important during the late winter months.

Getting a flu vaccine is one of the best ways to promote a happy, healthy start to your new year. There is still time and great reason to get vaccinated against the flu if you haven’t already.

While the timing and length of flu season varies, winter is the most common time for the flu. Although seasonal flu outbreaks can start as early as October, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the peak of flu season typically strikes sometime after the of the new year.

Myth: If someone has already had the flu, they wont catch it again that year.

Fact: There are strands of flu viruses that circulate every year, so even if you have had the flu once, your body is still susceptible to the other viruses. This years flu vaccine protects against the three most common flu viruses: influenza B, influenza A (H1N1) and influenza A (H3N2).

From 1982 to 2013, the peak of flu season hit during the month of February 45 percent of the time, with the peak occurring 16 percent of the time each in December, January and March. Out of the last 31 flu seasons, the time with the highest prevalence was after the new year 24 times (77 percent); simply put, this means that the most widespread outbreaks of this flu season are probably still to come.

The flu vaccine takes a couple of weeks to develop the antibodies in your system that are needed to ward off the virus, so its important to get the vaccine as soon as possible to minimize your chance of catching the flu.