If you haven't gotten the flu yet, you probably know someone who has. While it may seem early to start thinking about getting a flu shot, the Guilford County Health Department says right now is actually the perfect time.
11-year-old Dezhane Batey got a flu shot at the health department on Thursday. "It's better than getting sick because when you get sick, you have to be out of school. Adults need to be out of work. People can't afford to be out of work," Batey said.
Batey's mother, Yvonne Gordon, added, "It takes a toll on everyone...With the holidays coming, if you get it now, you won't be sick by the time the holiday comes, so you can enjoy it."
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the flu, so WFMY News is here to help you separate fact from fiction.
Many people think you need to wait until later in the year to get a shot because it will wear off before flu season is over. However, Judy Southern, the Clinical Services Program Manager for the Guilford County Health Department says, "There's no advantage of waiting longer to get the flu vaccine, especially around the holiday season. You're going to be around lots of people and you're going to be stressed and too busy to go and get it."
You might hear people say, "I'm not getting a flu shot because they make you sick." The health department says that's not true. But, it does take two weeks to work. If you get sick right after the shot, it's probably because you were already exposed.
If you don't like needles, you may have heard about the flu-mist spray. It takes a couple seconds and doesn't hurt. Does it work as well as the shot? Yes. But, not everyone qualifies for it. Check with your doctor.
The flu vaccine is more widely available than ever before. You can even get a shot at convenience stores. Does it matter where you get it?
"It's all the same flu vaccine - whether you get it at a pharmacy, the doctor's office, the health department, it's all the same. The price might be different, but everything else is the same," Southern said.
Looking for more "Flu Facts?" Check out these websites:
What You Need to Know for the 2012-2013 Flu Season
Web MD Cold and Flu Center
Guilford County Health Dept. Flu Information
NC Flu Update
WFMY News 2