Living Well: Get Your Flu Shot Now


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Flu vaccinations are out, and doctors say right now is the time to get yours.

Nurses are busy prepping for an influx of people who are ready to get a flu vaccination.

“It’s difficult to predict the flu, and that’s one of the most frustrating things about the influenza virus,” says Rob Winningham, Baptist Health Pediatrician.

Dr. Winningham reflects on last year’s flu strain, saying it was worse than usual. There were reports of people getting the flu twice, even three times.

“It was one of the more severe cases or seasons that we’ve seen. It was the worst since 2009,” he says.

The CDC reported in June, 172 children died from the flu last season, the highest since the 2012-2013 period. They found about 80 percent of the children did not receive the flu vaccine. While experts can’t predict what it might look like this year, Dr. Winningham says now is the time to get vaccinated.

“There was some thought that delaying getting the vaccine would help in the spring months for protecting you from the flu, but studies show the flu vaccine will last a full 12 months,” he says.

Kyle Carper, 13, is consistent at getting the flu shot because from experience, he doesn’t want to catch the flu again.

“You can miss days from being sick from the flu, and if you have this, you won’t miss as many days of school,” he says.

Doctors suggest that getting a head start with the flu shot gives your immune system a chance to make antibodies.

“It takes about two weeks for your body to be ready to fight off the flu,” says Dr. Winningham.

Infants and the elderly are at higher risk for the flu.

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