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Study: kids should get flu shots sooner than later - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Study: kids should get flu shots sooner than later

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NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. -

Billy may not like it, but he's  getting a flu shot this year and so is his brother.

"The flu's a nasty virus and its even worse for kids and older people," said the children's father, Michael McClellan.

New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics say children ages six months or older should get a flu shot every year as soon as it's available.

"People should not wait until December or January or February to get the vaccine. They should be calling their doctors office now," said Dr. Henry Bernstein with Cohen Children's Medical Center, and the author of the report. He says it's important to be protected before the flu starts circulating.

This year for the first time there is a flu vaccine available that protects against four strains of the virus instead of just three. "There is no preference for one vaccine over the other," Dr. Bernstein said. "Both of them are felt to be equally effective."

Doctors say it's also critical for people in vulnerable groups to get vaccinated. Seven year-old Billy has down's syndrome, so he's at increased risk for complications from the flu. "His respiratory muscles aren't as strong as others, so he's in a population that really needs to be vaccinated," said his mother, Kate McClellan.

The whole family will be vaccinated as soon as their pediatrician gets the flu
shot.

Marlie Hall - CBS News

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