It’s time to set the record straight: feeling the sting of a shot before the start of flu season isn't always a bad thing. Early is better than not at all.
But there's a balancing act to consider.
“You don’t want to get (a flu shot) too early, so that you lose your immunity by the time you really need it,” says registered nurse Nancy Epps.
We got a second opinion, and Dr. Perez with OPES Health in Tampa agreed that waiting can be the best move. When asked if getting a flu shot early in the season to get it out of the way was wise, Perez said "No!"
Since flu season peaks in January, February and most shots last six to eight months, local doctors say October and November are the recommended time to get those vaccines.
That way the protection is more likely to last until the end of flu season, which according to the Centers for Disease Control usually ends on Mar. 31.
Tampa General Hospital says they receive their new batch of flu shots in August, but don’t distribute them until October.
“Get your flu shots before the holidays, before Thanksgiving,” says Epps.
FluMist nasal spray is not being recommended for use during this flu season because of concerns about its effectiveness, according to the CDC.
Health experts say the flu shot is the best option to vaccinate against the virus.