CLEVELAND -- We're only in September, but doctors are already encouraging you to get your flu shot.
"Now. Now would be the best time to get a flu shot," says Molly White, a Nurse Practitioner wit the CVS Minute Clinic.
It's a simple recommendation, but one that may surprise you.
So why is NOW the best time to get protected?
Here's why- the flu season should really be called the flu year, because you can get the flu anytime!
White adds, "We are seeing episodes of the flu already here."
We may tend to link the flu with winter, but it's actually not cold weather that triggers the flu.
The cold weather just helps.
When it gets cold outside, more people stay inside, more bacteria stays inside, meaning more chances to get sick!
This is especially true during the holidays, since you tend to spend more time with strangers or traveling outside your daily route.
Of course a lot of us wonder can you get the flu shot too early?
Will its protection weaken over time?
The answer is no.
The shot protects you equally year round.
White says, "Life is fast, everybody is busy, traveling, working, school, kids, it takes 15 minutes to come in and get a flu shot and go on your way and then your immunized and protected."
Getting a flu shot won't guarentee that you'll avoid the flu, but it does minimizes your chances and your symptoms.
Full protection also takes two weeks to kick in, so it's best not to wait until right before a big occasion.
And if that's not enough?
Getting the flu is expensive!
You miss work, you may have to cancel a trip, take a trip 9or several) to the doctor.
Most insurance companies cover flu shots, but even if they don't, they cost about $31.
Even with that, you'll still save a lot of money.
So even though there are still leaves on the trees, no clouds in the sky, and no snow on the ground?
Your best bet to be healthy this winter is to already be vaccinated.