We are only halfway through December, but the flu levels in New England are already on the rise.

It is shaping up to be a really bad flu season. And with the holidays coming up quick, health experts say now is the time to get that flu vaccine if you haven't gotten one already.

I've gotten both of my kids their flu vaccines, but definitely need to get my own fast.

It is the time of year when you are brought into contact with a lot more people than usual.

From the holiday shoppers to your friends and family, everyone is out and about and coming into contact with goodness knows what.

Plus with the extra stress Christmas can bring, your immune system may not be up to the task of keeping you at 100 percent this season.

So that is why health officials say this is the time to get your flu vaccine and give yourself the gift of protection from the flu this year.

Massachusetts is currently reporting widespread cases of the flu and Rhode Island has already had a flu death this season.

The illness is no joke and it is looking like 2019-2020 is going to be bad for the flu.

Officials say the vaccine does take a few weeks to start developing the antibodies that provide protection against the virus. So getting your vaccine now will have you prepared for Christmas and New Year's with the family.

Many pharmacies offer same day flu shots, so even stopping in quick at your local CVS or Target can help cross gifts and the flu vaccine off your holiday to-do list.

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