HOUSTON (KIAH) – If you have been wondering when is a good time to get your flu vaccine, the Houston Health Departments says you should be getting the shot starting now. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends September and October as good times to get vaccinated.

The flu roared back in Australia and other countries in the Southern Hemisphere. That is why health experts are predicting a nasty, more severe flu season this fall and winter in the U.S.

“There’s not a lot of built up immunity, so we’re expecting this could be a bad year for influenza. It’s an important year to get a flu shot,” said Dr. David Winter, Baylor Scott & White Health 

Australia had 600 cases of influenza in 2021. That number skyrocketed to over 220,000 so far this year. Data from The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report the age groups that had the highest case counts for 2022 range from young children to teens.

The chief medical officer for the City of Houston is urging people to get their flu vaccine now.

“I urge people to get the flu shot this year as we could see a more severe season than in years past,” said Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer for the City of Houston. “Over the last two years many people have been isolating because of the pandemic, leaving a low herd immunity for us to control an outbreak, should we have one.”

A second reason we could see a rough flu season is because coronavirus mitigation protocols like mask wearing are all but forgotten.

If you still need to get your COVID vaccine or booster, the good news is you can take them at the same time.

“They’re not yet in one shot, but you can definitely get the COVID vaccine in one arm and the flu vaccine and the other arm on the same day,” said Dr. White.