ETX health officials suggest getting flu shots early

Early Flu Shots

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) -It's hard to believe, but flu season is right around the corner. That's why health professionals are encouraging East Texans to get their flu shots before the season flares up.

While it may seem to early too get a flu shot, doctors say it's never too early to protect yourself. Here in East Texas flu season kicks off around October, and can end as late as April

Dr. Janet Hurley, Medical Director for Population Health, Christus Trinity Mother Frances, tells KLTV,” Very important to get your vaccinations especially now that kids are back in school. They exposed to a lot of more other kids potentially that have put them at higher risk.”

Getting an annual shot is the best way to protect yourself against the flu, according to Dr. Hurley.

“Flu shots have been known to be very effective to protect against the flu and in fact it's the only thing we have other than routine handwashing which is very important,” explains Dr. Hurley.

Health care professionals say the flu broke out two months before it was expected in Australia. Here in the United States we use Australia's flu season to predict how we will be affected.

“When we consider that the flu rates in the southern hemisphere were occurred earlier in the season that really suggests that the earlier you can get the flu shot the better,” says Dr. Hurley.

A total of 736 people died in the Northeast Texas area during the 2018-2019 season, according to Dr. Hurley. That's why doctors are recommending people who have not thought about the flu, to prepare early this year.

“At this point based on the preliminary data we have, the flu vaccine we have this year is a good vaccine, it’s going to be effective in preventing the flu.”

She says the vaccine takes two weeks for the flu shot to be effective, and typically works for about six months.

“While it is true that people at the extremes of age, the very young and the very old often do faced higher mortality rates. We do still see mortality rates in young healthy people for reasons that aren't always clear.”

Many doctors expect to get vaccines delivered to their offices this week.

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