2017-18 flu season is underway. Here's what you need to know

Believe it or not, it's that time of year - flu season.

PHOENIX - According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there were more than 13,840 confirmed cases of the flu in Arizona last year. 

Every year, people ask many of the same questions about the flu season and the vaccine. Here are answers to some of the most common ones.

How bad will this year be?

“The flu season looks like it's hitting early but we don't know what it will be like yet. Although, we think it will be busier and more severe than last year," said Dr. Devin Minior, Banner Urgent Care Physician Executive. 

The CDC estimates that 36,000 people die each year from the flu. Officials recommend everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated, but not all vaccines work as well as others. 

Does the nasal spray flu vaccine work?

“Historically they've had an intranasal flu vaccination, but studies have shown that it's not nearly as effective as the intramuscular injections," said Dr. Minior.

How effective is the flu shot?

The National Foundation of Infectious Diseases said the effectiveness of the flue shot varies, at a recent press conference. 

“Vaccine effectiviness ranges between 40 percent to 60 percent each year," said Dr. Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services. "And that means a persons risk of getting sick with the flu and needing to see a doctor are 40 percent to 60 percent less than those who didn't get vaccinated."

Will the vaccine give me the flu?

“The flu vaccine does not contain live flu virus so you can't actually get the flu, some people get a mild reaction to it, but it's not contagious and usually goes away within 24 hours," said Dr. Minior. 

Are there enough vaccinations this year?

There’s plenty of vaccinations to go around as it’s early in the season, but if you wait, there could be shortage.

“The earlier you get it, the better chances you have of preventing it," said Dr. Minior. 

Most pharmacies and doctor's offices are already offering flu shots. 

They are available at any Banner Urgent Care or Banner Quick Care for $40 and high-dose vaccine’s for $60.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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