ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) – If you remember this past year the flu swept through viciously, but this year there are steps to protect yourself and your family members from the virus.
Although it is too early to get the vaccination, it is time to start thinking about the flu. Pharmacist James Heuerman of James McCoy Drugstore said flu shots will be coming in September, but October is an ideal time to come into the drugstore.
“We have people calling saying, ‘Hey when are you going to do the shot?’,” Heuerman said. “And, it’s tough because we’re glad they’re happy they’re taking care of their health and we want to give them that shot, but we also want the shot to last throughout the season.”
Infection Preventionist Beth Lantrip said the season peaks in January and February, which is why timing is key.
“You don’t want to get it too early because there’s a possibility that the vaccine will wain over time,” said Lantrip. “The vaccine does take about two weeks to confirm immunity to the three or four strains of flu depending on which shot you get, so you want to make sure you give it time to work before you’re exposed to the flu.”
But, that timing looks a little different for children.
“With the little kids, sometimes it is good to get that first shot early in the year, because for them it would be a series where they would get a shot later in the year as well,” Heuerman said.
Lantrip debunked a common flu shot myth.
“You cannot get sick from the shot, and there’s a lot of concern about that,” Lantrip said. “It’s a dead, inactivated virus, so it cannot make you sick.”
And, the flu shot is just one step you can take to prevent the illness.
“You wanna wash your hands frequently, Lantrip said. “Clean your high touch items in your home with regularity, like your cell phone is one that.”
Ultimately, you can affect the spread of the illness.
“Vaccinating is the number one way to protect everyone else,” said Lantrip. “It’s not just about you, and sometimes we lose sight of that.”