Health experts: People should get flu vaccine by October to help prevent hospital overcrowding
With flu season set to collide with the coronavirus pandemic in a few weeks, health officials say the best time to protect yourself and your family is quickly approaching.
Many Long Island pharmacies have started receiving shipments of this year's flu vaccine.
Health officials say getting the shot is not only important to reduce your risk of the flu, but also to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed with flu and COVID-19 patients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months old and older get vaccinated.
Though the vaccine is already available, pharmacist Howard Jacobson recommends his patients follow CDC guidance and wait until September through October to get the shot. But the CDC also recommends to not wait any longer than that, as it can take a few weeks to develop antibodies.
"The flu season the last couple of years has been around generally until March or April, so you wouldn't want to get it too early," says Jacobson. "Wait least another two, three weeks to get it, and that way they have the peak immunity when the flu season is at its peak, which is generally in the middle of the winter."
Health experts say they do not anticipate people will have trouble accessing the flu vaccine, as manufacturers have increased production.