52ºF

Stay healthy, get the flu shot early

Doctors say sooner rather than later

photo

The Centers for Disease Control is urging all Americans to get their flu shots now, especially elderly people. Experts recommend getting the shot sooner rather than later.

While the peak of the flu season varies from year to year, Dr. Mobeen Rathore said the earlier you can get your flu shot, the better.

"You should get the flu shots as soon as they become available. There is no reason to wait to get a flu shot. Once you get the shot, it lasts through the whole season. The sooner you get them, the better it is," said Dr. Rathore.

Getting the shot early also avoids the risk of stores and offices running out of it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, antibodies created by the vaccine can decline in the months after getting the shot, normally in people 65 and older. However, this is not an invitation to skip out.

"It's not predictable," said Dr. Rathore, "that's the challenge. That's why you need to get it early, as soon as possible, because the peak can come very fast. We could have a severe outbreak. It could be explosive."

For children, this year's recommendation has changed. Flumist nasal spray is no longer an option, meaning kids will also have to face the needle.

Doctors say it doesn't matter if you choose to get the vaccine from your primary care doctor or from your local pharmacy. They say as long as you are getting the flu vaccine, that's what's important.