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STATEWIDE — There is still another month of summer left to go, but many locations that typically offer flu shots are already starting to offer vaccinations for the upcoming flu season.

Not an uncommon practice, said Sara Hallyburton, a respiratory epidemiologist with the Indiana Department of Health.

“Flu vaccines are usually made available by August,” Hallyburton said. “It’s always recommended that everyone get their flu vaccine by the end of October.”

Which is why she said many of those who offer flu shots, such as Walmart or Kroger, are getting a head start. Righfully so, since last year’s flu season was one of the most aggressive that Indiana has seen in a while.

“The CDC classified the 2017-18 flu season as the third highest severity flu season since the 2003-04 season,” Hallyburton added. “We did have 336 influenza associated deaths reported in Indiana, so that was kind of a record high for us.”

Hallyburton reminds you to follow the “Three C’s” when dealing with the flu: Clean, Cover and Contain. She encouraged you to wash your hands, cover you coughs and to stay home when you are sick as well as trying to avoid others when they are sick.

(Photo:Tim Boyle/Getty Images)