HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – With flu season almost here, more and more people are getting vaccinated earlier.
“I do get the flu shot. I get the flu shot every year and, as a matter of fact, mine is scheduled for September 30th. So, it’s important to me because I have some health concerns that I just want to make sure I’m going through the season without any problem,” said Candy Oyler of Southwick.
Some western Massachusetts pharmacies even offer the vaccine in early fall.
“I think if the adults aren’t getting the flu shots, they’re more likely to catch it from kids who are going to get it at school,” said Dr. John Romanelli of Westfield.
To prevent kids from catching the virus at school, doctors advise that children between the ages of 2 months and 8 years old receive either the flu shot or the nasal spray.
Doctors say the best way to prevent getting the flu is quite easy. All you have to do is cover your mouth if you cough; wash your hands with soap and water; and if you can’t do that, hand sanitizer is always an option.
Though you can use those simple steps to help prevent getting sick yourself, doctors say getting vaccinated can actually help protect the people around you.
“The people around you may not be able to fight off the flu disease. That is the number one reason why if you don’t want to get the flu shot for yourself, do it for the people around you. You care for these people, you work with people, get the flu shot for them,” said Dr. Carol Wojnarowski, Infection Control Nurse Manager at Holyoke Medical Center.
There’s no expected shortage of the flu vaccine in western Massachusetts. However, because it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take affect, doctors recommend getting the shot sooner rather than later.