SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Flu season isn’t quite here just yet, but as temperatures drop that’s usually when the season begins. That’s why experts say its crucial to get your flu shot now.
“We usually see the peak of flu infections anywhere from October to February, meaning we see the most cases in that one month,” says Shannon Miller, Pharmacist and Director of Patient Outcomes at Kinney Drugs.
Flu season begins and ends at different times each year, with some seasons being more severe than others.
“Last year was a mild season, partially because everybody was socially distancing, wearing masks. We see a little less social distancing and masking going on, so you could predict that maybe there will be more flu this year than last,” says Miller.
However, it’s hard to tell. That’s why experts say it’s better to get your flu shot now, instead of waiting.
Miller says people have been getting their flu shot since mid-August. But fewer people have asked about getting their shot this year compared to last, and she believes its because of concern over the COVID-19 booster shot.
Miller added, “The CDC has updated their recommendations to get the flu and the COVID booster or any COVID shot at the same time. There is no minimum spacing required. So people should feel comfortable coming to get their flu shot as they normally would, and then we’ll wait and hear about boosters.”
Miller says you should get your flu shot before the flu starts to spread, adding that it takes two weeks for your body to mount the full immune response.
“So the earlier you get it, the more likely you are to be fully immune response by the time that flu is hitting,” says Miller.
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older gets the flu shot, and says ideally everyone should get their flu shot by the end of October.
Both COVID-19 and the flu can have the same signs and symptoms. Fever, chills and shortness of breath are just some of the same symptoms COVID-19 and the flu share.
“Washing your hands, if you are sick stay home. Everything that goes along with preventing COVID, prevents flu as well,” says Miller.