ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Southwest Georgia health officials are urging people to get their flu shots now as flu season approaches.
Officials say the start of flu season can be unpredictable and can hit as early as October. In 2015, South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta confirmed its first flu case in mid-September.
Southwest Georgia health director Dr. Charles Ruis says since it takes several weeks for the immune system to respond to the vaccine before it's fully effective, it's best to get it between now and October.
Dr. Ruis says it's better to get the flu shot early, rather than not getting it at all.
"The main point is just trying to get as many people as we can to get the flu shots," Dr. Ruis said. "If we all get our flu shots, then our hope is that the flu will have nowhere to go, and none of us will have anything to worry about."
The CDC recommends any one older than 6 months should get a flu shot before the end of October.
All health departments in Southwest Georgia are currently offering the flu shot.