Doctors say the time to get the flu shot is now

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) The winter flu season may be far off in some people's minds while we're still in the heat of summer, but doctors say getting the flu shot as soon as it is available is the best way to stay protected all season.

"It's perfectly ok to get it at this time," said Dr. Donald Nicolay, chief medical officer at Community Hospital. "Then you'll have a couple weeks to develop immunity before the flu season starts ramping up."

Flu season starts in September and is at its peak in January and February. The vaccine gives people coverage for about one year, so doctors recommend getting it yearly before flu season.

"Every year the type of flu varies a little bit," said Nicolay. "So those folks that make the flu vaccine try to predict which flu strains will be most prevalent during this flu season and that's the vaccines that they produced."

Nancy Larmie got her flu shot Monday like she does every year.

"As soon as they bring them out," she said. "I get my shot."

Doctors recommend the flu shot for everyone once they are above the age of six months. They say there is still a chance people can contract the flu because they can pick up a strain not covered by the vaccine, but people greatly reduce their chance by getting the shot.