Healthcare Officials Say Get Flu Shots Early

By: Ashley Harding

Healthcare officials say they don't know yet how severe this season will be, but you shouldn't wait to get your flue shots. 

Flu season doesn't officially begin for another few weeks, but Linda Young is getting hers a little early.

 “I have grand kids. I want to be protected, they will be protected as well. I don't want to be sick for work at all,” Young said.

Officials say flu seasons are never predictable, so being prepared counts. This year's vaccine protects against three influenza strains. This includes H1H1 and a new strain that hasn't been included in previous years. Tim Timmons with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department says building the right vaccine begins with inspecting the flu activity down in the southern hemisphere.

 “They look at what was circulating down there in terms of strains out there and also what we had circulating. They then determine what would be the best makeup for next year's flu vaccine,” Timmons said.

If you're unable to get a flu shot right away, healthcare officials say there are a couple of things you can do to avoid getting the flu. You should wash your hands and use a Kleenex if you have to sneeze or cough. Your options for vaccination include a traditional flu shot, the intradermal vaccine, or the nasal spray.

Linda Young says you should take your pick and get it done.

“It's not that big a deal. It doesn't hurt afterwards. It's not like the shot is going to hurt you for days. Just do it and be done,” Young said.

 Doctors say some people are more vulnerable to the flu than others. This includes people with health problems, the very old, the very young, and pregnant women. You should also talk to your doctor about which option is the right one for you.