By: Leah Uko
OMAHA (KPTM) – Flu season may not come until January through March, but health professionals want people to get their vaccinations during September and October.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone older than six months get the influenza vaccination. Because strains in the flu change every year, so doctors don't know whether it will come early or late.
"I like to say the flu is predictably unpredictable," said Mark Rupp, M.D. with University of Nebraska Medical Center. "We know we're going to get an epidemic every year, we just don't know exactly when it's going to start."
Dr. Rupp, who works in UNMC's Division of Infectious Diseases, said it can take up to two weeks for the body to respond to any vaccine and it lasts six to eight months.
This year's flu shot has two A strains and one B strain in it. But for elderly people and others who may have a weaker immune system, a quadrivlent vaccine with two A and two B strains is also available.
Other vaccination options include a nasal spray, an egg-free vaccine (for those allergic to eggs. Many flu vaccines are raised in chicken eggs and may contact egg protein) and a vaccine with a smaller needle that is supposed to be less painful.
Dr. Rupp added that health professionals don't anticipate any vaccination shortages for the flu season.
Kubat, Walmart, Hy-Vee, Baker's, Target and Walgreens all offer walk-in appointments. People can also get the flu vaccination at their doctor's office.
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