While September may seem a bit early to be worried about getting a flu shot, Kris Stapp Vice President of Visiting Nurses Services for the VNA, insists it's not.
She says the outbreak of H1N1 a few years back actually bumped up the timeframe for flu shots. Stapp says manufacturers realized people would need two vaccinations. At that point, healthcare providers started encouraging individuals to get their flu shots early so they would have time to get the H1N1 vaccination when it became available.
Now manufacturers have a new routine and the vaccine is ready earlier than it used to be. Stapp says the good news is the flu shot lasts about a year.
"When you look at influenza, in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, the flu season is kind of opposite one another, so they feel like you get protection for a good year. But it's critical that people get a dose every year, even if the viruses that are covered are the same."
Stapp says the CDC encourages individuals to get their flu shot as soon as the vaccine is available. She says this year, two of the three viruses included in the vaccine are new. For more information on where to get a flu shot, click here.