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Is it time for flu vaccines already?

It's impossible to predict what strains of the flu virus will be active this year or when peak flu season will hit.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Have you been to the doctor's office or pharmacy lately? You may have noticed a sign advertising flu shots, even though it's only August. 

"August is National Immunization Awareness month," Kent County Health Department Immunization Supervisor Mary Wisinski said.

Stores like Target are even offering a coupon if you get your flu shot now.

"As soon as they get their first shipment of flu vaccines, they start advertising," Wisinski said.

Turns out, it's not too early especially because it's impossible to predict when peak flu season will hit.

"Is it going to have cases at the end of August, first part of September? We had cases of flu last season in May," Wisinski said.

The Kent County Health Department recommends you get vaccinated as soon as you are able to.

"It may be the difference of you getting a mild case of the flu versus you not getting the flu shot and being hospitalized or put in the Intensive Care Unit," Wisinski said.

Babies and older adults are more susceptible to contracting the virus.

"Don't wait to get that flu shot because it's August," Wisinski said. "It's not too early -- you can get a flu shot if it's available at your doctor's office or in the pharmacy."

Last flu season, there were three pediatric deaths in Michigan, with the peak ending on March 23, 2019.


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