It’s the beginning of flu season. Experts say September and October are ideal months for flu shots.

The severity of a particular upcoming flu season is often tough to predict until it’s in full force, and modeling can be difficult. But so far this year, flu activity in the southern hemisphere — one typical early predictor — does provide some early information, and Novant Health Medical Director Dr. Charles Bregier calls it reason for pause.

He says most indicators are that this flu season will be more severe than in the past two years, and he advises people to get their shots early.

"The flu vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from the flu just as the COVID vaccines have been for COVID severe illnesses and death," says Bregier.

Bregier says the current flu vaccine protects against four strains, typically results in a 40% to 60% reduction, and it can be taken simultaneously with COVID booster shots. He recommends that those over 65 get the higher dose flu vaccines that are also readily available.

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