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Time to consider this year's flu shot

MGN

MACON, Ga. -- While Flu Season is still a couple months away, now is the time to consider getting a flu shot.

Dr. John Shivdat is the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Coliseum Medical Center.

He says we still have some time before flu season.

"The virus is dormant and it reactivates every year in the winter," Shivdat said.

Nobody likes getting the flu, especially mothers like Kate Cincotta.

"Yeah, with little babies at home, we definitely want to keep the flu away!" Cincotta said. "And my mom's a nurse, so she always made me get the flu shot each year."

But should you get that shot this early?

"This is a reasonable time, going into September, it has to be done," Shivdat said. "It's recommended to be done before October. So this is the right time, as the seasons start changing. This is the time to do it."

While this time of year is a good time to get the vaccine, it is possible to have it done too early.

If it was more than a month or two ago, you may need another shot during the flu season.

"A booster shot to build your immune system," Shivdat said. "To get your immune system ready so that if you are exposed to the flu, your body can fight it off."

The vaccine is extremely helpful, but it isn't perfect.

"It's not 100 percent," Shivdat explained. "You can still contract the symptoms of the virus. Or if the strain is not susceptible to the vaccine, then it's going to infect you."

Shivdat said the flu virus an be extremely dangerous. Even if you got the vaccine, you still need to be careful during flu season.

"It's spread through respiratory droplets, so you want to take the necessary precautions," he said. "If you're coughing, cover your mouth, use a mask. It could spread by direct contact, or saliva. So kissing, or using somebody else's cup. It could be in the surface, so just try to use proper hygiene."

Those who are concerned they got the flu shot too early can ask their doctors if they need booster shots this fall.


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