Health professionals urging the public to get flu vaccines as flu season arrives early in the Valley

Flu season is here and it's arrived very early. That's according to doctors at Maricopa Medical Center. Health professionals are urging the public to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible.

It's 100 degrees out, so you may not be thinking it's flu season. But doctors are already seeing a number of cases in Arizona. it's making some people think they should get their vaccination sooner rather than later.

Upon learning flu season is here, Phoenix residents say they believe it, especially because one woman we spoke with says she might already be coming down with something.

"I woke up with my throat a little sore [and] a bit itchy," said Traci Grimes, who plans to get the flu vaccine. "So I have taken some cold medication for that."

According to physicians at the Maricopa Medical Center, the flu season is here early. Usually, it starts in October but in the last week, the state health report confirmed there were 10 cases of influenza in the last week.

"It is early for flu season to be starting," said Frank Lovecchio, emergency physician at Maricopa Medical Center. "And that's why it's important to get the vaccine."

Doctors say the flu shot is 40 to 60 percent effective and they're hoping this vaccination will be strong. But they say it's too early to tell and they say even if you get the flu, the vaccine will lessen the symptoms.

"In 2018, we had 20,000 people who had the flu," Lovecchio said. "Many of those people are preventable and many of those [didn't] get the vaccine."

Residents say after hearing this, they'll rethink waiting until it gets a little bit cooler to get the vaccine.

"I think they all work," said Robert Rogers, who plans to get the flu vaccine. "You should definitely get all [of] your vaccinations."

Doctors say they don't know how bad this flu season will be just yet. Like we mentioned, the vaccine is now available.