This year's flu has been one of the worst in recent history, with numerous schools having to close down due to so many kids being sick and eight children having their lives taken by the sickness.
“This is one of the worst years we’ve had. It started early, and it’s still continuing,” Brad Coutts, Williamson County public health educator, said.
To help combat the flu, the Tennessee Department of Health has encouraged all Tennesseans to get a flu shot, and they're offering free flu shots at all county health departments in the state. Even though it's well into the flu season, there's still more than a month left for the potential spread of the flu.
Many people don't get flu shots because they think it's too late, they don't have time, or they don't think it's effective enough.
“Every flu vaccine is just a guess basically based on previous years’ flu strains," Coutts explained. "We have epidemiologists and specialists and experts who put that together based on what they think is going to be the best fit for us this year."
While vaccines for the flu are not 100 percent effective, the vaccine will still likely help prevent you from getting the flu, and if you do get it, your sickness should be shorter and less severe.
“Some protection is better than none at all," Coutts said. “You’ve still got plenty of opportunity to get it, get some immunity, and get that protection.”
For a full list of local and regional health department locations where you can get a free flu shot, visit the Tennessee Department of Health's website.