Rochester doctor says to get flu shot ‘as early as possible’ to help build immunity

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, flu season is on the way as well. Just like with the coronavirus, one of the best ways to protect yourself is by getting a flu vaccine.

Because the flu virus changes every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting an getting an annual flu shot to avoid different strains. Dr. Terry Golash of CVS Health says by getting the flu shot as soon as possible, it will help to build immunity by flu season.

“The idea is to get people to get the flu shot early on in the season before it takes hold because it takes a couple weeks for the immunity to build up.”

Dr. Golash says one of the biggest misconceptions is that the flu shot will give you the flu virus. “That’s probably the biggest myth that we have out there. Of course, that’s not true at all.”

Just like with the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Golash says there are two main benefits to getting vaccinated.

“The important reason to get a flu shot is to protect yourself from getting the flu in the first place, and secondly to prevent you from spreading it to other people who you come in contact with.”

But, unlike the COVID-19 vaccine, the flu shot is approved for babies. “The CDC currently recommends flu shots for anybody over 6 months old.”

Dr. Golash says the goal is to have the community vaccinated with a flu shot by fall

“We recommend getting it as early as possible and hopefully getting everybody shots by October to be prepared for the flu.”

Dr. Golash says the more people that get the flu shot, the more effective it will be at preventing virus spread. Flu shots are now available at local pharmacies like CVS.

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