How will the flu season be affected by the novel coronavirus? That’s tonight’s Ask A COVID question. FOX10 News viewer Tony wants to know, "when will the vaccine be available?"

According to the CDC, the flu season can begin as early as September and last as late as May. Your best bet is to get a flu shot early in the season so your body has a chance to build up immunity to the virus. 

It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to protect you. If you don't get it early, getting a flu shot later still helps.

The Mayo Clinic says the availability of the flu vaccine depends on when production is completed, but generally, shipments start sometime in August.

Do we need to get a flu vaccine earlier this year (i.e. July/August)?

While the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has not yet voted on the flu vaccine recommendations for 2020-2021, CDC does not anticipate a major change in the recommendation on timing of vaccination. Getting vaccinated in July or August is too early, especially for older people, because of the likelihood of reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season. September and October are good times to get vaccinated. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even in January or later. 

Will there be changes in how and where flu vaccine is given this fall and winter?

How and where people get a flu vaccine may need to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC is working with healthcare providers and state and local health departments to develop contingency plans on how to vaccinate people against flu without increasing their risk of exposure to respiratory germs, like the virus that causes COVID-19.

If you have a coronavirus question, email it to us at COVID19@FOX10TV.COM. Your question might be the one we answer next!

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