(WBIR-Knoxville) Flu season doesn't begin for another month but pharmacies here in East Tennessee have already began advertising for vaccinations.
Health officials said getting the vaccination early may not prevent the flu, but could definitely lessen the severity.
The Knox County Health Department said there are a lot of myths that come along with the virus. For one, it doesn't technically have a "season".
"There is no exact date when flu season hits. However, we do see an increase starting in early October with its peak in January or early February," said Connie Cronley, Knox County Health Department.
Officials said it's not uncommon for a person to get the flu in the middle of the summer.
"That's influenza," Cronley said. "It's just totally unpredictable. We don't know from year to year how it's going to manifest in the community."
The Centers for Disease Control is now recommending kids between the ages of 2-8 to get the nasal spray instead of the shot.
The Knox County Health Department will be going to schools beginning September 15 to give that vaccine to students for free. Letters have already been sent home to parents to get consent.
"We're bringing it to the school and that way it saves the parent from taking time off work or making a doctor's appointment. It's very convenient for them. It will protect the child and in turn, protect the family."
Amanda Johnson, Public Affairs Specialist of Knox County Schools, said clinical research indicates immunized students are less likely to develop the flu. Knox County schools encourage students to get the vaccine because "it can lead to improved school attendance and supports a healthy learning environment."
The CDC encourages people to get the vaccination once it is available. The vaccination will last you through the entire flu season.
"That way your body will have time to build immunity to influenza in case you do come into contact with it," Cronley said.
The Knox County Health Department will begin giving vaccinations at its facility in October. Pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens have already began.
The CDC said the vaccine may not always prevent the flu, but it can definitely lessen the severity.