Children under five are most vulnerable. Kids with chronic health problems like asthma and, diabetes and are at especially high risk of developing serious flu complications. But now a new CDC study shows that the flu vaccine is also critical for children who don't have health issues.
Researchers looked at pediatric flu related deaths and found 43 percent were in healthy children. According to Dr. Tamiko Jordan, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, "half the kids who die from the flu have no underlying medical problems and can die within 4 days of contracting the virus."
Another study shows schools that offer vaccinations have higher rates of attendance and lower rates of flu. At one elementary school, when nearly half the students were immunized, unvaccinated kids also appeared to receive some protection.
Doctors say kids spread the virus up to two days before they show symptoms and for up to 10 days after.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months old .