NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Flu season in the U.S. typically runs October through May, but the vaccine has already been manufactured and is available in some locations throughout North Carolina and the U.S.
The vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"As soon as you see a flu vaccine advertised, we encourage you to go ahead and get it, the earlier the better," said Ashley Vernon, RN with the New Hanover County Health Department.
For people between the ages of two and 49, the nasal spray vaccine is an option this flu 2018-2019 season. Studies have shown it is effective for the flu strains circulating this year.
People who get influenza, commonly called the flu, usually recover without any problems. But the disease can turn deadly especially for older adults, very young children, and people with certain medical conditions.
389 people in North Carolina died from the infection during the 2017-2018 flu season.
"It's good to get it now," said Vernon. "The vaccine does last for the year, the whole flu season, even up through the summer, so it is good to go ahead and get it now."
The flu virus strains that the virus will protect against were chosen back in March for the upcoming flu season by experts from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Three and four-strain vaccines are both available this flu season.
It takes about six months for massive quantities of the flu vaccine to be produced. The most common way flu vaccines are produced is by growing them in chicken eggs where the virus can replicate, the CDC says.