Public health officials say to get the flu shot now –

(KWWL) – Flu season is fast approaching and public health officials are preparing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released their predictions and advice for the upcoming flu season.

The folks at Chickasaw Public Health and Home Care Services said they’re trying to get a head start on the season to hopefully lessen the spread of this year’s flu.

“What we’re trying to do now with our population, from all ages, is promote and get your flu shot,” said Kathy Babcock, a registered nurse and administrator for Chickasaw County.

Even in mid-September, she said they’re in full flu prevention mode. She said, right now, they’re focusing on getting businesses in the county vaccinated against the virus.

“It will help them in the long run so they won’t miss work, so they aren’t as sick and all that stuff and be, very much, promoters in this prevention of the flu,” she said.

Besides increasing work productivity, vaccinating local stores and shops helps stop the spread of the flu to you and your family.

According to the CDC, it’s better to get a flu shot early as it takes time for your body to build up an immunity to the virus.

Babcock said you need to allow yourself that time before the start of flu season.

“It takes two weeks to get it into your system, so you have prevention against the flu,” Babcock said.

Some age groups are encouraged to get the flu shot due to their increased risk of catching the bug. These age groups include children ages six months to five years and adults over 50. People with illnesses that could weaken the immune system are also encouraged to get the shot.

The CDC said manufacturers of the flu vaccine are expected to produce between 162 million and 169 million doses for the United States alone.

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