It may be mid-to-late September, but health experts say it's not too early to get a vaccination to ward off the flu.
The traditional flu season is September to March, and health professionals say people shouldn't worry that a vaccination now won't last until spring.
At Rush University Medical Center, more than 500 patients have already been vaccinated. And officials at CVS Minute Clinics say they're seeing growing numbers of people coming in.
"Timing is important. It's really is important to get the vaccine as soon as the vaccine is available," said nurse Mary Alice Lavin.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that everyone six months or older gets vaccinated, especially the very young and those over 65 years of age.
Those who frequently around the very young or the elderly should also get vaccinated.
"From what I understand the CDC is predicting that this is going to be a pretty heavy season for the flu so the best line of defense is to get your flu vaccine," said Erin Sinnaeve, a family nurse practitioner.
Experts offered a friendly reminder that the vaccine is needed every year. And unlike previous years, health officials say there's plenty of vaccine this year which should avoid a shortage.
The price of the vaccine will vary depending on insurance plans and where a patient goes to get the vaccine. It typically ranges from $25 to $32 dollars.Chicago Dept. of Public Health: Flu Facts | CDC: Flu Basics