He also said that this year, people with neurological disorders should strongly consider getting their flu shot. Those predictions can be wrong, of course, but even when they are right vaccines can be mismatched to circulating viruses. But how does it work, exactly?
Other health departments in the district are also offering flu shots by appointment.
While it is possible to get influenza at any time during the year, the official flu season is coming up. The other main version of the vaccine is the mist, which is produced using a weakened version of the virus, while technically a "live" virus, the mechanism for infection has been eliminated so it can not cause illness either.
In addition, if you are exposed to someone else who has the flu virus, you may not get sick, but you can pass on the virus to others. While it's never too early or too late in the flu season to get the vaccine, the CDC encourages doing so by the end of October. "The flu vaccine can help protect you from flu and also reduce the chance of flu spreading to others".
Vaccination before December is best since this timing ensures that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at its highest.
Which viruses am I protected against?
These groups are at particular risk from flu and vaccination is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus.
According to officials with the Centers for Disease Control, the upcoming flu season may be just as bad, if not worse, than a year ago. Inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV) and live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) are all fair game.
"Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season, even into January or later", Parrish said. Last year, the agency said the vaccine was 40 percent effective, meaning it reduced the person's overall risk of getting the illness by that number.
This season, protect yourself - and those around you - from influenza.
Last flu season broke state records.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80,000 people died from the flu and 900,000 were hospitalized with symptoms last season in the United States. Children 6 months through 8 years of age may need two doses during the same flu season. Wooten advised all residents last month to get the vaccine, which protects against multiple flu strains and takes about two weeks to take effect.
And, for you needle-phobes out there, fear not - the nasal spray has made a return.
"Our flu season is usually based on the southern hemisphere's season that is just ending, and in the southern hemisphere, they did not have a awful year this year", Bhardwaj said. As The Wall Street Journal reported back in 2010, eggs used for flu vaccines don't come from commercial food farms, and are "tested vigorously for pathogens". The injectable vaccine, the flu shot, is produced with a dead virus.
For older recipients, recent studies indicate getting a flu shot helps ward off heart attacks - as much so as taking blood pressure prescriptions or stopping smoking.