Flu shots available; why you may want to get one early this year

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- There's no vaccine for the Zika virus yet, but there is one for another virus that kills thousands in the U.S. each year. Flu vaccine is now available in the metro, and you may want to get it early this year.

As manager of a CVS store, Craig Dutcher loves his customers, but he also knows this.

"People don't always come to the drug store because they want to. They come because they're sick. and I feel like we're exposed to a lot here," said Dutcher.

So he's getting protection against the flu. Minute Clinic inside CVS and the store pharmacy already have flu vaccine. A nurse practitioner says it's not too early to get protection for the season that runs from October to May.

You may want to get in early this year since demand for shots is expected to be higher. That's because the Centers for Disease Control no longer recommends FluMist, the nasal vaccine, saying it wasn't effective the last few seasons. FluMist made up about eight percent of the market.

Kids between six months and nine years old who've never received the shot before will need two doses.

"If you come in now and get that first dose and then the next one a month from now, it's still gonna take probably a couple of weeks to have full immunity, so now is a great time for kids," said LeeAnn Holmes of Minute Clinic.

Holmes knows some people will be unhappy getting the shot instead of the spray, but it's better, she says, than getting the flu.

"The flu lasts a whole lot longer than the one to two seconds it takes to get the flu shot. The flu's miserable," she said.

Flu vaccine isn't one hundred percent effective, but doctors say getting a shot is the best thing you can do for prevention.

"It seems to help, I can't say for sure," said Dutcher.

He thinks getting the shot in previous years has helped him stay on the job.

The CDC projects that at least 157 million doses will be available this year which is actually more than was used last year. But the CDC says projections can change as the season progresses.