October is best time for flu shots

October 06, 2016

While there is disagreement among experts about the perfect time to get a flu shot, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October.

While there is disagreement among experts about the perfect time to get a flu shot, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October.

“Baptist Health is committed to protecting the health of those in the communities that we serve. With that in mind, we recommend getting an annual flu shot in October,” said David Saxon, MD, at Baptist Health Express Care in Paducah.

Typically, the flu season in Kentucky begins in October or November. If the flu shot is given too early, young children and adults over age 65 may see the vaccine’s strength weaken in the final weeks of the flu season, making people in these two groups more susceptible to catching the virus.

If given too late, you may catch the flu during the two weeks that it might take for your body to respond to the vaccine.

”While it isn’t perfect, getting the shot is an effective way of preventing the flu for yourself, your family and your co-workers,” Dr. Saxon said.

Adequate supplies of flu vaccine are expected to be available this season.

Baptist Health Express Care and Urgent Care locations have flu vaccine on hand. Flu shots cost $25 for the basic flu shot and $40 for the high-dose vaccine. No appointment is needed. To check clinic hours, go to BaptistHealthClinics.com.

Who should get the shot

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends flu vaccine for all persons six months of age and older. Those strongly encouraged to get a flu shot are:

  • Children age six through 59 months and their caregivers
  • Women who are or will be pregnant during flu season
  • Those age 50 or older
  • Those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater
  • Anyone over six-months-old with chronic health problems and their caregivers
  • Nursing home and long-term care facility residents
  • Healthcare workers

Baptist Health requires its employees to have a flu shot unless there are medical or religious reasons why the person cannot be vaccinated.

  •  Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent the flu, with its fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches. 

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