Is it already time for flu shots?

Published On: Oct 02 2012 05:45:30 PM PDT   Updated On: Oct 02 2012 06:06:23 PM PDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

One indicator that Fall has arrived is that signs are going up at area drug stores urging people to get a flu shot. But do you really need to get the flu shot? Or can you avoid the hassle?

"It's really important that everyone get a flu shot to protect themselves first but also to protect those people around them," Mark Springer with the Spokane Regional Health District said. 

Some people think if they get it now, the effectiveness will wear off but health officials say that's not the case. 

"It's not too early to get a flu shot and the immunity you get lasts all season so you don't have to wait until November or December to get protection for the full season," Springer added.

Flu typically peaks in January but the first cases start in October or November. After you get the shot, it takes two weeks to be fully protected. The shot is recommended for anyone 6 months and older. Even if you're healthy, don't think about skipping it.

"Parents get the flu shot to protect your kids, get the flu shot to protect you and the other people in the community," Springer said.

But health officials want to remind people the shot isn't going to fully protect you from everything.

"The flu shot is pretty effective in terms of protecting individuals from influenza but there are a lot of respiratory viruses that are circling during flu season," Springer added.

If you want to avoid getting a shot, there are other options, like the flu mist for those between the ages of 2 and 49. A high dose vaccine is also available for anyone 65 and older.