The time to get the flu vaccine is now
BATON ROUGE - With fall rapidly approaching, it is once again time for children and adults to line up for flu vaccines.
Local doctors are advocating for people to get vaccinated now before the season is expected to peak so that the odds of more people getting sick can be lowered. According to experts, flu season typically peaks between January and February, but some doctors say they have seen it peak as early as October.
"There's a certain percentage of people that get admitted to the hospital when they get the flu and every year. Unfortunately, there's a certain percentage of people that die when they get the flu," said Dr. Michelle Flechas with the Pediatric Medical Center in Baton Rouge.
Dr. Flechas also says there is a new strain that has been added to the vaccine which means it increases the likelihood that people won't get sick if they are vaccinated in time.
Children between the ages two and six are recommended to be vaccinated via "flu mist" instead of the traditional "flu shot" because doctors say it's a better vaccine for small children. This is because the flu mist vaccine contains a weakened form of the virus that decreases the likelihood that kids will get sick after receiving the vaccine.
Experts say adults who line up to get the flu shot don't have to worry about getting sick because it contains a "killed virus". Dr. Flechas says it is impossible to contract the illness from this type of vaccination.
You can get your flu shot at a local pharmacy or through your primary care doctor. The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than 600,000 people in Louisiana were infected with the flu virus since October of 2013.