Flu shot season arrives - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Flu shot season arrives

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Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, which means it's time to start thinking about fall flu shots.

Doctors say everyone over the age of six months should be vaccinated, and kids are high on the priority list.

"Children are the great distributors the influenza virus," explains Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "They give it to each other, and then they bring it home and give it to grandparents and uncles and aunts and moms and dads."

The American Academy of Pediatrics is advising pediatricians to offer the vaccine as soon as it's available, certainly before the end of October.

Even though last year's vaccine was only about 50-percent effective, experts still say it's the best option we have to protect against the flu.

"Influenza is a serious illness," Dr. Schaffner says. "It can take a healthy person and make them so sick that they have to go to the emergency room and be admitted, and it can happen fast, within 24 hours."

For the second year in a row, doctors are not recommending the nasal spray, meaning kids will have to endure the shot.

The vaccine is also recommended for women who are breastfeeding, pregnant or are even thinking of becoming pregnant.

Related links:
healthychildren.org - The Flu

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