Time to get flu shots - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Time to get flu shots

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

New this morning, a leading group of pediatricians has released its latest vaccine recommendations for kids.

Doctors say everyone over 6 months should be vaccinated, and kids are high on the priority list.

"Children are the great distributors the influenza virus," said Dr. William Schaffner with 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.

Some children have chronic conditions like asthma that increase their risk for complications. 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 said. "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 a 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.

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