Medical experts urge people to get vaccinated as soon as possible

It’s hard to think about flu season when it’s been so nice outside and kids just started back to school. However, doctors and pharmacists say not to be fooled into waiting too long to get your flu shot. Here’s why.

“It takes about 14 days to get the full protection. That’s why we’ve been telling customers and promoting people to get their flu shot,” said Mohan Vodoor, a pharmacist at Rite Aid.

But some folks say it doesn’t work.

“I’m fine without it. I know a couple of people who have gotten it and gotten sick,” said Kayla Ellis, a mom we bumped into at the Carolinas HealthCare System Hospital in Pineville.

What about those people who get sick even after getting the flu shot? Here’s what one infectious disease specialist had to say.

“The only scenario where you could get it is if you got the vaccination and two weeks have not lapsed so you’re not immune to it. It’s possible if you’re infected during that time period, you could get it,” said Infectious Disease Specialist Anupama Neelakanta.

 Looking back to last year’s flu season, the CDC says the vaccine wasn’t very good. It was only about 20 percent effective which is down since 2006.

We asked the infectious disease specialist what she thinks will happen this year.

“The CDC basically tries to keep a tab of what flu viruses are going around in the community. They determine what strains should go into the vaccine. That’s based on what’s prevalent at that point in time. We hope that the vaccine match will be better this season,” said Neelakanta.

Medical experts say people with asthma and diabetes are among those hardest hit by the flu virus, so they encourage them in particular to get the vaccine.

In North Carolina, you can get the flu shot starting at 6 months old.