FLU VACCINES: New Shot Offers Extra Protection

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The changing weather is a reminder of the start of another season.  October marks the beginning of the flu season and doctors say now is the time to protect your family.

“Flu complications can be very serious and deadly and this is just a great way to protect your children,” says Mercy Pediatric Clinic Dr. Stacey Milani.

Health officials recommend that everyone six months and older get vaccinated.  There is a new shot this year that includes protection against four strains of the flu.

“Two "A" strains, the H1N1 is one of the A strains, and two “B” strains.  So it’s giving you extra protection,” says Milani.

Seventh grader Damian Conejo isn’t a fan of needles.

“They're okay, but they kind of hurt,” he says.

Conejo decided to get the flu shot anyway and he’s glad he did.

“This is the first time the flu shot never hurt,” says Conejo.

To avoid the pain of a needle altogether, you can always go with the flu mist nasal spray.

“Don't put it off, no.  Now's a great time to get it especially if it's the first year that you're getting a flu shot.  Kids under the age of 9 need two spaced about a month apart.  So it's going to be a good month before they're fully immune,” says Milani.

The flu season typically peaks in January and February, but can begin as early as this month.  You can get the vaccine at doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments and pharmacies.