ALBANY, N.Y. -- Local health experts are urging people to get their flu shots now before the weather dips colder.
The warning Tuesday comes on the heels of an active flu season last year where more than 45,000 people in the state were diagnosed with the flu. In Albany County alone there were 240 cases of the flu last year, a number some experts think will rise.
It's just a prick, not much pain, and health experts say you will be protected throughout the flu season.
"Now is the time to protect yourself by getting a flu vaccine," said Dr. James Crucetti, Albany County Commissioner of Health.
Health clinics, pharmacies, and local governments are pushing people to act sooner rather than later.
"I think kids and I think seniors, anyone who's susceptible to the flu I think they should probably get it, it's more important to them," said Loudonville resident Allen Satin.
For some it's become a yearly routine.
"I got a lot of pressure from my kids telling me I should get it," said Geri Degner.
But for the 3 years Degner has been getting the shot, she says she hasn't gotten sick.
"It's a big help, especially to seniors, I think they really need it, I think they're more susceptible to getting colds and stuff," she said.
Still others don't think it makes much of a difference.
Sheila Arcodia says for her the secret to escaping the flu season is simply good hygiene.
"When I come home I wash my hands with anti-bacterial soap, I take vitamins, I take care of myself," said Arcodia.
But Dr. Crucetti says the flu vaccine is the single most effective way to protect yourself from getting sick, and that getting the flu shot will not cause you to get sick. Something not everyone completely believes.
"My daughter ended up getting really sick right after the flu shot, could of been coincidental," said Arcodia.
Check out the Local Flu Vaccine Finder at the top of this page to find a location near you. You can also check out the Albany County Department of Public Health for additional information.