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When should you get a flu shot?

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Local health professionals are recommending you go get your flu shot sooner rather than later, because cases of the flu are already rolling into local clinics.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people living in the United States get their flu shots by the end of October at the very latest. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't still get one earlier or later than that.

"Everybody kind of thinks of this really small window that's the flu, but it really goes a lot longer than what most people think," said Crystal Gaskins, a CRNP at Dove Family Health in Huntsville.

The flu vaccine takes two weeks to become effective in fighting the flu, which should be considered in your timing.

"It's an annual vaccine, it's okay if you get it in September, it's okay if you get in October, but I wouldn't wait much longer past that point," Gaskins said.

There are several types of the flu vaccine that fight different strains.

"A lot of time it's just what your office is recommending," Gaskins said. "Sometimes its what the CDC is recommending for our area as to which one we're using."

Which strain you get often depends on your age, health condition, and risk.

Health professionals say it's up to your health provider to decide which vaccine is best for you.


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