Health Officials Say September Is Not Too Early To Get A Flu Shot

Pharmacies and grocery stores have vaccine in stock, ready to administer.


Frederick, Md (KM) You may have noticed posters in your local pharmacy and grocery store which dispenses prescriptions urging you to get a flu shot. But is September too early to think about the influenza vaccines? Not according to Kelly Smith, an immunization nurse with the Frederick County Health Department. “A lot of the doctors and the pharmacies are already receiving their shipments. As soon as that’s ready, they want to get it out. So it’s not a bad time to get your flu vaccine,” she says.

Even if you were vaccinated last year, Smith says you need to get a shot this year because last year’s vaccine is not effective against the current strain of influenza. “Flu can be just so sneaky. We can say ‘ well, we’re going to have same strain that we had one other year, and the other year, and I’ve already a gotten flu vaccine. It should protect me.’ Well, it doesn’t. It’s  only really good for about a year. It’s only very effective for a year. So that’s why w e need to get boosted every year,” she says.

In some  years past,  the flu vaccine was not very effective against the strain of influenza in circulation. But Smith says you should still get vaccinated. “It’s going to protect you from other strains that come around. So it might not be the predominate strain that we’re going to see.. But perhaps later on in the season, this strain might be coming more predominant,” she says.

Not only will the flu vaccine protect you from influenza, but also your family members, friends and co-workers. “Protect people around you. Protect those you work with. Protect going into a facility where grandma lives, or grandpa’s at, or a hospital, or that type of thing,” says Smith.

It’s especially important for women who are pregnant and expecting a child to get vaccinated against the flu. “If you’re going to be around a baby, or have a baby in the house that’s just an infant, everybody should be getting a flu vaccine,” Smith says.

The influenza vaccine is not licensed for children under six-months of age.

In most years, the flu season usually begins in September and October, and continues through March and even into April.


By Kevin McManus