SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - So far this year in Georgia, flu season has been pretty typical, but that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down.
While there have been no flu-related deaths in the state, 17 people have been hospitalized for flu complications this flu season. We’re still very early on in flu season, so these numbers could go up. But according to the Coastal Health District, the number of flu vaccines that they’ve administered this year has gone up by nearly fifty percent compared to this time last year.
We hear the message every year that the best way to reduce your risk of catching the flu and its potentially serious complications is to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine protects you from four different viruses, and they’re available at every county health department.
If you don’t have insurance, or the vaccine isn’t covered, there are low-cost options.
According to Coastal Health District leaders timing of when you get vaccinated counts, and could be the difference between getting the flu or not, especially for populations with weaker immune systems.
“If you take the flu shot too early, and then we happen to have a late flu season, your immunity may have waned," said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director at Coastal Health District. "In other words, the goodie may have worn off and you may not have as much protection if you take your flu shot when it first becomes available in July or August.”
Dr. Davis says it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective. He adds if you did get your vaccine early and want another, there’s no harm in that.