Listen Live

STATE WIDE–Now is the perfect time to get the flu shot, says Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of Medical Affairs at Franciscan Health. He said Hoosiers who get the vaccine at the beginning of October, can expect the immunity to last through the flu season.

“For the last several years it’s been recommending by the CDC that all Americans receive the vaccine annually,” said Doehring. “The main goal is to prevent getting the flu, particularly in more vulnerable populations so they don’t experience life-threatening complications.”

He said even if you do get the flu after getting the vaccine, it could make it much less severe.

Doehring said the flu shot cannot give you the flu, but because the shot is made up of components of the virus, you could get some mild, flu-like symptoms, and you could be sore in the muscle where you get the shot.

The actual flu can make a normal, healthy adult stay in the bed for several days, and is one of the leading infectious disease causes of death in the U.S.

The effectiveness of the flu shot is sometimes dependent on how well health experts anticipate the strains of flu that will hit the U.S. each year.

“What we do is review the strains that are circulating around the other parts of the globe, try to anticipate what’s coming into our hemisphere during flu season, and try to adjust accordingly,” said Doehring. “This year has been adjusted a little bit for the two most common strains, the type A strains. The type B strains are actually the same that were in the vaccine last year.”

Doehring said you can get the flu shot in many places, like pharmacies, your doctors office, and even flu shot drives at work and through civic organizations. Sometimes it’s no cost.

PHOTO: Ildo Frazoo/Thinkstock