ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Some health experts say this flu season could be tougher than in years past.

The concerns are based on Australia where winter has just ended. The flu season there arrived early and struck with a vengeance.

Flu cases in the Southern Hemisphere can be an indication of what may happen in the Northern Hemisphere.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting the flu shot before the end of October.

“With the vaccine, it takes two weeks to get into your system to make you more immune to the flu, so we recommend as early as possible to get them before flu starts in our country,” said Mary Fran Wachunas, the Rensselaer County Public Health Director.

Wachunas says vulnerable citizens are of most concern.

“We always look at children under two, senior citizens, people who have chronic diseases, and pregnant women.”

Wachunus says half the battle is debunking myths about the vaccine.

“Many people think you get sick when you get the flu shot, but there are no statistics behind that. Most likely, you were coming down with something, and it enhanced those symptoms.”

The vaccine is recommended for most people above the age of six months.
Wachunus says there’s no indication that there will be a shortage in supplies of flu shots.