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When should you get the flu shot? Kansas City-area doctors say it's never too early

Posted at 5:00 PM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 18:27:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's mid-September, and you might think it's too early for a flu shot. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you need to get the shot before Halloween.

"If you get influenza once, you will feel horrible," said Dr. Kevin Burgert with Pediatric Associates.

Last year, more than 700,000 people got the flu, according to the CDC. Doctors said people should prepare themselves for another bad season.

"Last year was not great and that happens from time to time. Influenza is a bad disease," Burgert said.

That's why doctors are urging people to get the shot as soon as possible.

"When families come in and everybody rushes in January, once the influenza is around, it's hard. There are less vaccines available, so families have a hard time finding it," Burgert said.

The CDC said the flu vaccine can take up to two weeks to protect your body. When it comes to how effective the vaccine can be, doctors said it's just a waiting game.

"It's a moving target and it's hard. So, its going to be year-to-year on how effective that vaccine is going to be," Burgert said.

People in Johnson County are already getting the shots. Johnson County Museum was giving them out on Wednesday.

"Last year I went to get the flu shot and I need the higher level shot and they only had the lower dose. So, I had to wait almost two or three weeks to get it," said Albert Landreith, who was getting a flu shot.

People getting the shot said they simply didn't want to chance it.

"My grandson and my daughter are coming in from New York in October and I wanted to be very safe. Also, my parents are 95 and they are in a skilled nursing facility," said Elaine Engle, who was also getting a shot at the museum.

For more on the flu vaccine, visit the CDC website