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Pharmacies expect first flu vaccines
Rochester, N.Y. - The flu season begins in November but the vaccines are already on their way, in some cases, already here at your local pharmacy or doctor's office.
Rite Aids in the Rochester area are offering the vaccine and Wegmans stores anticipate having the shots in a few days.
It comes earlier and earlier every year, shopper Mary Barrett said.
And with the new shipment of drugs comes - what doctors say - is better protection.
For the first time a new vaccine, Fluarix Quadrivalent will fight against four strains of seasonal flu.
Past vaccines only covered three.
It really increases coverage. What the vaccine manufacturers and the scientists have found, they were guessing wrong, which B strain to put in the vaccine so since they could safely put in both strains, it made sense to do that, Rochester General Hospital Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Ann Falsey said.
Dr. Falsey also said there's no rush to get the vaccine because there's isnt a prediction of any shortages.
I usually advise my patients to wait and get vaccinated in September, early October, Falsey said.
Falsey said at that time, your body will have its highest antibody level during the peak of the flu season, but your body will still be protected even if you choose to get a flu shot in August.
Falsey still reminds people that flu shots aren't 100% guaranteed, but say it's your bodies best defense. Thats something patients agree with.
I get my shot the next time I see my doctor which is September or early October, Barrett said.
Just getting the shot, boosts your immune system in that way, shopper Allison Brandt said.
The vaccine has been approved for use in adults and children three and older.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered more than four million doses of the new vaccine.