Doctor: Don't wait on getting your flu shot

Published: Sep. 19, 2016 at 6:20 PM EDT
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With influenza season on the horizon, one Valley doctor recommends getting your vaccine ahead of time.

"It's hard to predict when we will start seeing flu in our community, but I would recommend getting it throughout the flu season, even as late as December or January. But I wouldn't want to wait until that time," said Dr. Nirmal Khandoobhai, MD, a hospitalist at Sentara RMH in Harrisonburg.

Laura Haynes, an immunologist at the University of Connecticut Center on Aging, recently told NPR that people over the age of 65 should wait until after October to get their vaccine. You can find that NPR article in the Related Links section of this page.

While Dr. Khandoobhai said the protection from the vaccine does wear off earlier in older people in some cases, he would still recommend getting it early if it's available.

"How long the flu vaccine will last in our elderly population, there's been mixed results. It's unclear," said Dr. Khandoobhai. "As far as being vaccinated in this time frame, it'd be more important to be vaccinated than miss the opportunity of vaccination."

This year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is only recommending injectable flu vaccines.

In fact, earlier this month, the CDC said the flu mist, which had been a popular option for children, was too ineffective to recommend. You can find that story in the Related Stories section.