Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

More Kids Protected from Flu; CDC Says Keep It Up

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

More Kids Protected from Flu; CDC Says Keep It Up

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * More children than ever got vaccinated against the flu last year, and health officials urged families Thursday to do even better this time around.

Far too many young and middle-aged adults still forgo the yearly protection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.

And this year, Americans have an unprecedented number of vaccine options to choose from: The regular shot; the nasal spray; an egg- free shot for those allergic to eggs; a high-dose shot just for those 65 and older; and a tiny-needle shot for the squeamish. The bigger change: A small number of the regular flu shots, and all of the FluMist nasal vaccine, will protect against four strains of influenza rather than the traditional three.

"There's something for everyone this year," said CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat.

A severe flu strain swept the country last winter, sparking a scramble for last-minute vaccinations. There's no way to predict if this year will be as bad. But it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, so health officials say early fall before flu begins spreading widely is the best time to start immunizations. …

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