More kids protected from flu; CDC says keep it up

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

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 protection requires a yearly vaccine, either a shot or nasal spray. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it's time for people to start getting immunized.

Flu vaccine is recommended for nearly everyone ages 6 months and older. Yet just 45 percent of the population followed that advice last year. Flu is particularly risky for seniors and kids. Two-thirds of adults 65 and older, and nearly 57 percent of children, were vaccinated last year.

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