New flu vaccine recommendation for kids, says CDC

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By Lindy Thackston

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's impossible to predict when flu season will start and how intense it will be, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending people ages six months and older start getting the flu vaccine now.

There is a new recommendation for kids this year.

Dr. Christopher Belcher, director of infectious disease at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, says children between ages 2 and 9 should get the nasal spray because it's been found to work better than the shot.

However, if the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available and the flu shot is, children should get the flu shot. The CDC says don’t delay vaccination to find the nasal spray flu vaccine.

"Vaccinating children is a great way not only to prevent disease in them, but they are really where the center of this epidemic is," said Belcher.

The elderly are at a very high risk, too. They account for more than half of flu-related hospitalizations and 90% of flu-related deaths.

Belcher says your best bet at dodging the flu is the vaccine combined with good hygiene.

"Not only do we want to prevent it from spreading in the community, but preventing the bad disease and the infections and the deaths as well."

Each year, one in five people gets the flu and 36,000 Americans die.

Flu season commonly peaks between December and February, but it can start as early as October.

Check out the CDC's 2014-2015 Influenza Season site for more information.

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