Flu season in East Tenn. coming, where to get your shot

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. It's spooky season and the season for getting your flu shot, health experts said.

Woman gets flu shot at Belew Drug in Knoxville (Source: WVLT)

Health officials told WVLT News that this flu season could be severe in East Tennessee. Experts look at Australia to make predictions for the U.S. And their flu season was a bad one.

Health experts said the vaccine is designed to combat what they saw in Australia.

Pharmacists said while the weather is still warm you are probably wearing a short sleeve shirt, making it easier to get a flu shot.

There have been some flu cases already reported this year, even as early as July and August in Knoxville.

A pharmacist at a local drug store said it's best to get your shot this month, before flu season really picks up.

"It takes about two to three weeks for the flu shot to really be good and active in your system. So if you're exposed to the flu before then you could still catch the flu, but hopefully it won't be as severe," said Samantha Boldin a Belew Drug pharmacist.

As for kids in Knox County schools, they'll be able to fight the flu a lot easier this year.

These students can now get the FluMist vaccination while they're at school.

This applies to pre-school and elementary students in Knox County.
Children two years and older are eligible for the FluMist.

The goal is to get them protected without having to take time out of school or for parents to take time off work.

The Knox County Health Department will bill a student's health insurance or cover the uninsured.

Officials said the mist is a great option for kids who don't like shots.

"The flu mist gives us the option of providing the vaccine without using the injection method, the shot method," said Dena Mashburn, Director of Nursing with the Knox County Health Department.

School flu clinics will start in November. Parents must complete and sign a consent form for their child to get vaccinated.

A common myth is that flu shots give you the flu, but experts said that is not true.

They recommend you and your whole family vaccinate to protect yourself.

Where to get a flu shot

- Knox County Health Department gives out free flu shots at their three locations. Find out where here.

- Walgreens

- CVS

- Walmart

- Food City

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