Many Phoenix-area pharmacies now offering flu shot; should you wait to get yours?

While Phoenix-area pharmacies are already offering the vaccine -- one Valley doctor says you should wait a little longer. Kylee Cruz reports.
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 7:43 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Even though it’s only August, flu shots are now being offered at many Phoenix-area pharmacies. So is now the best time to get your shot? One Valley doctor thinks it might be best to wait three to four weeks!

“The flu season typically extends all the way to like February, March, right and so and then the immunity in some cases may extend out three or four months. And so if you’re thinking about kind of timing it right so that you have that protection throughout the full flu season, then probably getting it more in September or early October,” Dr. Shad Marvasti with the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix said.

In Arizona, flu cases were much higher this past flu season than during the pandemic with roughly 39,000 confirmed cases statewide. Arizona’s peak came in early December of 2022.

To get an idea of what we could see this flu season, we look to Australia, which saw an early start to its flu season. However, Dr. Marvasti says who is getting sick stands out most to him.

“We’re seeing kids that aren’t usually in the higher risk groups that are otherwise healthy between the ages of 5 to 10 actually get sicker and to the point of being hospitalized in Australia because they have their flu season before we do,” Dr. Marvasti added.

Dr. Marvasti says if you have a healthy kid in the 5-10 age group, this might be the year to consider getting them the flu shot even if you usually don’t. He also says to go back to the basics like hand washing, cleaning surfaces, staying home when sick and watching sugar intake.

“You always want to watch how much sugar they get right in terms of candy and different sweets, but maybe even more so during this season, just because that also impacts our immune system,” he said.

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