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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's that time of year again: the time when flu shot clinics are being held everywhere.
Medical Assistant Tracy McGuffey was one of the first Friday afternoon to get a flu shot that is free for U of L faculty, staff and students. With a quick prick of the needle, it was over.
McGuffey says, "I work with patients on a daily basis, so it's very important for me to have my flu shot."
U of L has already given out 1,000 flu shots since Monday. Clinics are being held all over Kentuckiana at various locations for the public.
The CDC says flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February. But, seasonal flu cases can begin as early as October and can continue into late May. This year's flu shot protects against three main flu strains.
Dr. Phillip Bressoud, the Campus Health Services Executive Director, says, "If you are young or otherwise healthy, antibody production will stay up for several months, maybe as much as six months, so there it's okay to get it a little earlier."
Bressoud says older patients with less healthy immune systems should wait until October or early November to get their flu shots.
Doctors say it takes at least two weeks for the flu shot to become effective. Sometimes it can take up to four weeks.
About one in 100 people will have a slight fever or feel fatigued from the injection, but most people will just have some arm soreness.
Diane Endicott, the Student Health Services Nursing Director says, "If someone has that little bit of fever, it means the vaccine is working well with their body."
Doctors say the flu vaccine won't prevent you from getting the flu. It just makes it milder if you do get it.
Endicott says, "It's the old and the young that are at risk, so I get the flu shot every year because I have a daughter who is 13. So, if we immunize more people, then we are keeping older folks and younger folks safer."
The health department says there are eight confirmed cases of the flu statewide. There are no lab-confirmed cases in Jefferson County. The health department says many times physicians will treat people and diagnose them according to symptoms without performing lab tests. That's why the actual number of flu cases in a given season is usually far higher than the lab-confirmed cases.