Flu vaccine protects against seasonal, H1N1 strains

FRESNO, Calif.

This year, they're advising children as young as six months old to get vaccinated.

The new vaccine will protect people against three common influenza strains ... including H1N1. Last year's H1N1 outbreak resulted in thousands of deaths.

This year, the recommendation is that everyone, especially children, get a flu shot to avoid another pandemic.

At just seven and a half months old, Isabella Arredondo has already had her first flu shot. Her doctor administered the shot Thursday during a routine checkup.

Reporter: "Were you surprised that they recommended a flu shot for someone so young?"

"No. Not at all. I think everybody should get a flu shot. My wife and I get one every October, November time frame."

During a briefing in Sacramento Thursday, officials with the California Department of Public Health advised everyone in the state over six months of age to get a flu shot this year. The recommendation is broader than in years past.

David Luchini with the Fresno County Department of Public Health says health officials are trying to be pro-active. "Even though there may be certain populations that don't get as sick, we all can transmit it and the more people that are protected from influenza, the less of a chance you have to transmit to someone at high risk. Remember, a typical flu season nationwide you have about 36-37 thousand deaths, so why not take the measures to prevents that."

The injectable flu vaccine is a dead virus, which means it cannot get you sick. Several vaccines have already been delivered to clinics and pharmacies throughout the Valley, including Target in River Park.

The store charges $24.00 per shot. They've already run through about 40 vaccines in the past couple of weeks ... and are prepared to order more. "We have about 60 or so here at the store right now and if we do run out, we can get more the following day."

The Fresno County Department of Public Health is holding the first of many flu clinics on October 12th. The location has not been determined.

If you would like a flu shot now, call your doctor or visit a local pharmacy.

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