Flu shot signs have been displayed in several stores for weeks. But is it too early to get the shot?
Nikki Price, director of pharmacy operations at Safeway grocery stores, says they’ve been offering the flu vaccine to customers for nearly two weeks now.
In fact, Price says the vaccine is available around this time of year, every year. However, with flu season peaking in January, Price admits it’s still pretty early on in the season.
So, does getting the shot early have benefits? We asked a doctor.
“If you're over the age of 65, I don't recommend getting the flu shot right now,” says Dr. Lela Mansoori, with Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center. “I would recommend waiting until after September.”
Dr. Mansoori says that's because the elderly, and babies under 6 months old, don’t have as strong an immune response to the vaccine, compared to younger people.
“The protective effects imparted by the vaccine may not actually last as long and carry them out throughout the entire flu season,” says Dr. Mansoori.
If you're under 65 years old, Dr. Mansoori says getting your flu vaccine now won't make much of a difference, because the vaccine should cover you all year.
But no matter when you get the shot, just make sure you get it.
“The flu shot will protect not only you, but your parents, your grandparents, your children, and it can prevent death,” says Dr. Mansoori. “So, I think it's very important to get the flu vaccine.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting your flu shot by the end of October.