RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Back-to-school time means flu season is nearing and Virginia health officials say there will be plenty of flu vaccine to go around this year. More than 160 million doses are available nationwide.
Now that the Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone six months or older get a flu vaccine, national retailers are offering them earlier this year than in years past.
Most Virginia drug stores are now offering flu vaccines, and doctors say go ahead and get one.
"People think oh if I get the flu vaccine to early then I'm going to lose my immunity, and that's not really true, that immunity is going to hold for a good 8 months at least," said Dr. Thomas Murphy of Patient First. "You should be good for pretty much all fall and winter. It's going to take a couple of weeks for the vaccine to take affect anyway."
This year, most people will only need one shot because seasonal flu vaccines will protect you from H1N1 and two other flu strains.
Some children who have never been immunized against the flu will have to get an additional booster shot.
The CDC suggests anyone over six months old get a flu vaccine, but certain groups are at higher risk.
"If you have chronic diseases, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, you've had a stroke, those are the people that really need to be in here," he said.
You should not get a flu vaccine if you've had sensitivity in years past or are allergic to eggs.
For more information on when and where flu vaccines are available and where you can find one for the cheapest price, click the article linked at right.