Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Parents of school-age children in Central New York have their minds on equipping their kids with pencils, notebooks, and new clothes as they prepare for the new school year.
But one thing that may be missing from their to-do list could be the child’s flu shot – but pharmacists say this is the perfect time of year to get vaccinated.
“It’s just September, it's September 3. I don’t think people are thinking about the flu yet,” said Kinney Drugs pharmacist Kirk Kwaczala.
Doctors say now is the perfect time because while your child may be heading back to the classroom within the next couple of days, it takes two weeks for the shot’s immunity to kick in.
“Often children who haven't been vaccinated before need two doses, so you need to get that first dose in,” said Dr. Bruce Simmons of Upstate Medical University.
Pharmacists say that people should not worry about getting their shots too early.
“People are concerned about is it too early to get it? Is it going to cover me throughout the flu season – it absolutely will. The coverage lasts for a year so you get it now and you're covered until next September,” Kwaczala said.
And while one must be 19 to receive their shots at Kinney’s, many pharmacies are ready to administer shots.
“You don’t want to wait until you hear about the flu because it may be too late,” Simmons said.
Doctors say they often hear that people complain about getting sick after getting a flu shot, so they avoid it the following year.
But physicians warn that it’s just a coincidence and that every person 6 months old and older should be vaccinated.
Doctors also say something people may hear a lot about this season is the 4-strain flu shot.
Dr. Simmons says of the nearly 140 millions shots made; only 30 million will be the new form, which simply includes one more "B-type" strain.
Because it's a less severe strain, doctors say the new shot is not worth the wait if one isn't easily available.
Medical professionals prefer for you to get your shot now.