With Labor Day now behind us, we march into fall/winter and must prepare for the upcoming flu season. Due to COVID-19, flu immunizations are more important than ever. It’s possible the lessons we have over the past 6 months will pay off this flu and cold season. Masks, social distancing, and other preventative measures may lessen exposure to flu and cold viruses which may lead to a more mild cold and flu season. However, flu vaccinations are the most important tool in fighting flu so don’t rely on masking social distancing for prevention.A message from our pharmacist, Kyle, on WHEN and WHY getting a flu shot is important:I often get asked “When should I get a flu shot?”. Based on historical data provided by the CDC, the majority of flu seasons peak around mid-January. However, the 2009-2010 flu season peaked in October. So, I consider September 1st to October 15th the “sweet spot” for flu immunizations. Why? Our immune system is complex so we can’t go from 0 to 100 overnight. It takes time for the immune system to produce antibodies to fight the flu virus. Have you ever experienced fever after receiving a vaccination? No, the flu vaccination did not give you flu! The fever and achiness that may occur with SOME flu shots is the body’s immune system preparing to fight the flu. The general rule of thumb is 2 weeks from vaccination to protection against flu. So vaccinating now will get your immune system ready to fight the flu in October in case we have an early season like 2009-2010. But dont worry if you procrastinate. The best time to get a flu shot is when you can. Whether September 1 or January 1, get a flu shot!To schedule an appointment, visit southernpharmacy.net/immunizations. Remember, flu shots are free with most insurances!