It’s fall. The leaves have turned beautiful shades of orange, red and yellow. Hopefully your favorite football team is having a great season. But fall also reminds us that the colder months are on the horizon and with those comes flu season. To stay ahead of the curve, it is best to schedule your influenza vaccine in the fall to be best protected this winter.

Early Signs of Flu Season

The CDC released a report mid October saying that flu activity is on the rise. This does not mean that the flu season will necessarily be worse this winter than recent years. It is an indication that flu season could be starting earlier this year.

Flu Activity the Last Two Years

Flu activity has been at mild levels in recent years since before the 2020 pandemic. In 2021-2022, we saw a decrease in flu activity despite an increase in reporting and testing for the flu. Medical experts have suggested there could be a link to Covid-19 precautions and decreased flu activity.

The CDC has highlighted a concern of reduced immunity to the flu due to the recent decrease in exposure. Young children are back to full time childcare and school. If they have never had the flu or possibly don’t have the vaccine, we run the risk of a “robust return of the flu,” said the CDC.

Annual Flu Vaccinations

It is strongly recommended to get the flu shot each year. This vaccination typically changes each year and contains four strains of viruses that are expected to be dominant during the annual flu season. The effectiveness depends on multiple factors including:

  • Age and health of the patient,
  • Types of circulating flu viruses, and
  • Similarities between circulating viruses and the makeup of the vaccine.

Schedule Your Flu Vaccine

You will find lots of options to obtain a flu vaccine in your area. College Park Pharmacy, Howard’s Pharmacy, P&S Pharmacy, & Mooney's are local pharmacies here in East Tennessee providing flu vaccination services to the public. You can stop in for your prescription needs, grab some over the counter medications, or obtain your flu shot.