Washington, D.C. A record-setting amount of influenza vaccine is available this fall for a record-setting number of people being advised to get it.
That was the message Wednesday from officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several private organizations, who convened in Washington to urge Americans to get flu shots.
The number of people targeted for flu vaccination has grown steadily in recent years and now constitutes 86 percent of the population.
For the first time, the federal government is recommending this year that children ages 5 years to 18 years get vaccinated, along with the previously targeted 6 months to 5 years age group. That will add about 30 million children to the number advised to get the shots.
CDC recommends that children from age 6 months to 8 years get two flu shots a month apart, as a single shot may not be enough to fully protect them.
A nasal-spray vaccine containing live but weakened strains of vaccine is available for people ages 2 to 49 years.