AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Health experts are urging people to get vaccinated before the height of flu season.
It can take 1 to 2 weeks before the body's immune system is ready to fend off the virus, so doctors say the earlier you get the shot the better.
The flu shot is made from an inactive strain of the virus allowing the body to build up a resistance without getting sick.
"No vaccine is 100%, it may cause you to have a less severe case of the flu," said Casie Stoughton, Director of Public Health. "The vaccine may also prevent hospitalization or allow you to have a less sever case of the flu."
According to the Harvard Health Publication each year 36,000 people die and 200,000 are hospitalized because of the flu.
The vaccine takes less than 20 minutes to administer. They are available at major pharmacies and local health clinics.
Anyone older than 6 months is eligible to get the shot, health experts say if you have consistent contact with a young child you should get vaccinated.
"It is up to us to protect those kids under 6 months who can't be vaccinated," said Stoughton.
Children under 2, adults over 65 and pregnant women are at the highest risk of developing flu-related complications.
A previous version of the story stated this year's flu vaccine was free, however prices could vary upon location. We apologize for the confusion.