More Americans Urged to Get the Flu Shot Than Ever Before - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

More Americans Urged to Get the Flu Shot Than Ever Before

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It's flu season again and every year nearly 40,000 Americans die of influenza. This year health officials are urging more Americans than ever to get the flu shot.

This warning is coming from the Center for Disease Control. Just yesterday a panel decided that all children between the ages of six months and 18 years-old should get the flu shot. 

This is their effort to stop the spread of the flu virus in children at school's, who then bring it home to their parents. This year like every other year people are lining up for the flu shot, but you might see a longer lines. 

"In my career I have seen very small children who have gotten the flu and have gotten complications with pneumonia and have died," said Connie Pitts, Director of Emergency Room, Kennewick General Hospital. 

If you're between the ages of six months and 18 years-old, pregnant or elderly it's recommended that you get the flu shot.

"If you're caring for those people in that age group it's really important for you to get the flu shot also. We think it's very important, it will keep you well, and it will keep you out of the emergency room," said Thersea Long, Kennewick General Hospital. 

Getting the flu shot can also cut down on medical bills, emergency room visits can be very expensive.

"In the emergency room we see a lot of patients who come in with the flu. Most often those patients have never had flu shots. It is a rare occasion that you get a patient coming in who has had the flu shot that gets really ill," said Pitts.

Kennewick General Hospital is going to have three different clinics running this year, two in October and one in November around the hospital district.

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