Flu season is around the corner, Valley doctor says get vaccinated early

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With kids back in school, flu season is just around the corner. It typically starts in October.

But pediatrician Dr. Marty Martin says it's a good idea to get children vaccinated early.

"There are kids every year, 150-200 kids a year that die from influenza from the flu and our best bet is to protect them," he said.

Dr. Martin just received this year's flu vaccine this week so he has started to administer doses.

It comes in two different strengths.

"The first year they need two doses a month apart if they've never had it. Then the rest is for everybody three and up," Dr. Martin said.

Many pharmacies have also received the flu vaccine.

Leticia Berber of the Fresno County Health Department says when you look at our last flu season, it becomes clear people over the age of 60 should get vaccinated.

"We had 26 deaths in Fresno County and unfortunately these deaths could have been prevented by a single vaccine," Berber said.

Kids between six months and five years, pregnant women, caregivers and the chronically ill are also among those who should also get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

"It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become effective and protect you against the flu so we really want you to get the vaccine before the flu season officially starts," Berber said.

The Health Department will hold its first free clinic on September 14th at the American Legion Hall in central Fresno. Over 20 free clinics will be made available this year.
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