Flu season does not officially start until October, but doctors and clinicians are already providing vaccines to Indiana residents. This year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending people get protected early.
The Monroe County Public Health Clinic has been stocked with the flu vaccine since August, but Spokesperson Amy Meek says few people have taken advantage of the early supply.
“The flu can hit at any time so it’s always best to get your flu vaccine as soon as it’s available,” she says.
Experts say early shots provide more protection before the start of the season. It usually takes two weeks to develop immunity to influenza.
“There’s a common misconception that if you get the vaccine too early you won’t have immunity through the whole flu season but the CDC says that that just isn’t true,” Meek says. “You should receive your flu vaccine every year and it will last you through the season.”
Children under two are among one of the age groups most susceptible to the flu, but Southern Indiana Pediatrics in Bloomington encourages all children be vaccinated.
“We’re not only protecting against influenza but the bacterial complications which can cause more serious illness,” says Southern Indiana Pediatrics’ Dr. Richard Malone.
If not treated, the flu can lead to pneumonia and ear infections.