Flu shots recommended for all kids, not just high-risk - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Flu shots recommended for all kids, not just high-risk

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It's a message you hear just about every year: get your flu shot. Usually, with the added emphasis on the very young or old, or those with health problems.

But with the heart of this year's flu season ahead, there's a renewed focus on healthy children.

"We've seen some early cases of the flu this year," said DHEC Public Health Director Nicholas Davidson. He said a report from the Centers for Disease Control, published Tuesday, reinforces what they've said for years.

It looked at pediatric flu deaths from 2004-2012. Of the 830 kids who died, 43% had no high-risk medical conditions.
    
"The flu is not something that just impacts those with underlying health issues, it impacts the working well," Davidson said. "So we want to keep our entire population protected by vaccinating anyone who is willing and able."

Health experts can't predict what this season will be like, but they do know we're off to an earlier start than usual.

Davidson says now is the time to get your kids, and your whole family, vaccinated.

"We can protect, surprisingly, our family members, our friends from the flu just by getting ourselves vaccinated," said Davidson. "So, it's an individual action as well as a community prevention measure."

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