August is here and it may be time for a flu shot. Public health officials say it’s not too early for protection against influenza.
Two workers at a Lexington pharmacy this week erected a “Get your flu shot here” sign in the parking lot. Getting a flu shot once meant an early-autumn trip to a doctor’s office or a pharmacy.
But state epidemiologist Craig Humbaugh says the earlier, the better.
“It’s really never too early to get an annual flu shot, so we recommend that, as soon as flu shots are available and people are able to get them; this is a great time for folks to start getting their annual flu vaccination,” Humbaugh said.
Humbaugh says Kentucky’s flu season peaked last March. He says a flu shot administered now will offer adequate protection throughout the season. There is an exception though for children under 9 getting their first flu vaccination.
August is also National Immunization Awareness Month. Years ago, Humbaugh says measles, mumps, and diphtheria often spawned serious illness.
“You know we used to see a lot of serious illness with things like measles, mumps, and diphtheria. And now, in this country, those are illnesses that we very rarely hear about, even though unfortunately there are other areas of the world where they are still quite prevalent,” added Humbaugh.
Even with a vaccine available, Humbaugh says chicken pox still circulates through some Kentucky communities. As for mumps, he says they only see a handful of cases each year. Humbaugh says many of those patients were born overseas.