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Strain Flu Vaccine

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Five-year-old Ada Huntington could get even more protection from her nasal flu vaccine this year.

"Seems like a good idea to me to do everything I can to make sure she's healthy for the school year," says mother Shelley.

For the first time there are vaccines available that protect against four strains of the flu virus instead of just three.

"Adding a fourth antigen would actually increase the coverage we can provide," says Dr. Sonia Gidwani.

Doctors say the new vaccine may especially help children and the elderly because they're more likely to get sick from the new strain.

Manufacturers are expecting to produce more than 135 million doses of flu vaccine this year. Only about 30 million will protect against the four strains.

All nasal spray flu vaccine in the U.S. this year will contain the four strains. But only healthy people ages 2 to 49 can get it. And it's not recommended for pregnant women.

Experts say people should not wait to be vaccinated because they're hoping to find the newer vaccine.

"I think it's important to immunize with whatever vaccine you can get."

Ada's mom also got her flu shot today that has the four strains in it. Her sister, Virginia will get hers at her checkup next week.

"We are just always looking to keep everyone happy and healthy."

This mom hopes the new vaccines will keep their whole family safe from the flu this winter.

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended children six months or older get their flu vaccine as soon as possible. The group has no preference for the four strain over the three strain, saying both are equally effective.

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