THOMPSON'S STATION, Tenn. – For nine-year-old, Jodie Green, a flu
shot may not be a big deal, but her mother knows a little precaution now goes a
"We have five kids, so if one gets sick, they're all going to get sick
and then if they're not completely better before they go back to school, then
they are going to get other kids and classmates sick," Cheryl Green said.
Her doctor, Teresa White, MD, has already seen a handful of flu cases this
week, months before the traditional season.
"It's pretty early," White said Thursday. "It's not unheard
of, but it's unusual."
White's practice, Tennessee Pediatrics in Thompson's Station, is one of many
places across the mid-state that already has the flu vaccine.
State epidemiologist Tim Jones with the Tennessee Department of Health says
even though they aren't seeing widespread flu cases across Tennessee right now,
past seasons have made vaccine companies gear up to produce more this season.
"This year there will be move vaccine available than ever before,"
said Jones. "It's being shipped out in August, and that's just about the
earliest we've ever seen it."
It may be weeks before you start seeing people have the sniffles at school
or work, but doctors say it's smarter to handle this now, so you don't end up
"It's good to know that walk-in clinics will have them, drug stores
will have them. A lot of parents, their workplace offers the vaccine, and so
with all those different avenues they should be readily available," White
went on to say.
Doctors say besides getting a flu shot for yourself and family, obvious
things like washing your hands, getting plenty of rest, eating right and
staying home if you're sick will help everyone.