TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s one of the sternest warnings yet from the Centers for Disease Control. This flu season could be one of the worst on record, according to health experts.

Doctors are telling patients, get your flu shot now and do not delay.

That powerful piece of advice from the CDC has people listening, and for good reason. With the flu season predicted to be this serious, getting a shot now could make all the difference later.

“There have been few seasons with the flu has been really wicked, and people miss a lot of work,” Tampa mom Allison Schneider said.

She knows just how much flu shots are in high demand at the South Tampa Publix where she shops.

Ask any shopper waiting in line for a flu shot, and they’ll tell you. No one wants to tempt fate and take a chance. No one wants to battle this epic flu bug.

There’s no doubt the warning from the CDC is resonating with people.

Allison is a longtime esthetician and showed up for her flu shot after a busy workday on Thursday, stopping by the Britton Plaza Publix on South Dale Mabry in Tampa.

She tells 8 on your Side getting the shot is crucial in her career.

Allison explained how she comes into close contact with clients every day. So, being healthy, she says, is a key component in her thriving business. Getting sick is not an option, especially when it comes to the highly-contagious flu bug.

The Tampa business owner is hoping for one thing this flu season when it comes to herself and her clients. She wants everyone to be healthy.

And stay healthy.

Allison knows she’s not alone in her goal of good health this flu season. She joins millions of Americans who also want to stay flu-free this year, especially with the strong possibility of massive outbreaks.

No one will soon forget the last few flu seasons, seemingly fresh in everyone’s mind after dangerous and deadly conditions persisted. One thing’s for sure, the level of awareness is at an all-time high. People know just how bad this bug can be.

They’re worried, and they’re not waiting when it comes to getting flu shots.

People are showing up in droves at Publix locations around the Bay Area to get flu shots. In fact, right now, pharmacists say they’re busier than ever administering the vaccine as part the widely popular flu shot clinic at Publix where shoppers can stop by any day of the week during pharmacy hours, and get vaccinated.

They don’t even need an appointment.

The clinic has been so popular and so successful, he Lakeland-based company prepared early, stocking shelves with plenty of shots. Turns out, the timing was spot-on with the grim outlook for this flu season.

“If you’re a mom, it doesn’t matter if you get sick or not, you’re still a man and you have to take everybody,” Allison told 8 on Your Side.

Allison says as a mom and a businesswoman, she’s got to be on her A-game. She is, indeed, one of many shoppers getting the vaccination early-on this season and says Publix makes the process easy.

“This is where I’ve gotten my shot the last few years, exactly for that reason. It’s so easy. I come in, and it doesn’t take but an extra two or three minutes, and you’re done,” Allison told us.

The flu season is already active now, according to experts. Sadly, there has been one death reported. A child in California, diagnosed with the flu, has died.

Health experts hope people do not delay in getting a flu shot. Doctors say getting the shot is the number one way to stay healthy and the best shot at success when it comes to being flu-free this season.

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