The calendar may say September, but an area doctor says now is the time to get your flu vaccine.
"Early vaccination is key in preventing an individual from getting the influenza," Dr. Thomas Robbins of Jefferson City Medical Group said.
There are several different versions of flu vaccinations available. The commonly used intramuscular vaccine is injected into the muscle, an intradermal vaccine is injected into layers of the skin and a nasal spray is needle-free.
This year, there's also a vaccine that contains four strains of the virus instead of the usual three.
Robbins says it's safe for children as young as six months old to be vaccinated. He added that it's a common misconception that getting the vaccine can give you the flu.
Still, Jefferson City resident Jim Mooney said previous experiences with the vaccine have him wary of getting it in the future.
"I have had them in the past, I've had them twice. Both times I was sick within a week...haven't taken one since," Mooney said.
Robbins said the vaccine will last through the entire flu season, even if you get it early.
"There used to be a life to them of approximately six months, but nowadays the CDC tells us that they do cover a full year," he said.