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Flu Clinics Open; CDC Issues New Vaccine Recommendations

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Kansas City, MO – Flu clinics throughout the metro are now open. That's amid new national vaccine recommendations. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now advising that anyone between six months and eighteen years of age get a flu shot. That's opposed to the previous recommendation that only kids up to the age of five get it.

Over at the Kansas City Health Department, the immunization clinic is already busy.

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Ron Griffin is with the Health Department and says the very young and the very elderly can have serious complications from the flu. On average each year, more than 200,000 people nationwide are hospitalized, and about 36,000 people die from it. But Griffin says the new recommendation will help prevent older children and teenagers from passing the flu to those who are more vulnerable.

Griffin: What you do is vaccinate a group of people. Then that group of people, if they don't get the flu, then they can't expose anybody else.

The CDC also recommends that pregnant women, people ages fifty and older, and those with certain chronic medical conditions get vaccinated.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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