BOSTON (CBS) – At the Codman Square Health Center, Rutchamar Desir was getting a flu shot Wednesday.

Desir says she’s never come down with the flu before but this year, she wanted to be sure.

“Well I wanted to make sure I was protected in this flu season,” Desir said. “So I came up here and got my physical and they told me the flu was out so I decided to get it.”

Health center staffers say they are seeing more cases of the flu this year and those cases are happening earlier than usual.

Typically the peak of the season comes in February and March but already experts are calling the flu’s presence in the state “widespread.”

In Boston, flu related emergency room visits are double the usual average. Those cases are growing each week, officials tell WBZ.

But doctors say even with the shot, you may still get sick.

If you were exposed to the flu prior to getting vaccinated or before the vaccine kicks in, you can still come down with the flu.

The good news? The vaccine is said to be 99 percent effective against this year’s strain once you are vaccinated.

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