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Flu shots coming out later this year after changes to vaccine

The flu season is almost here, and you may have noticed if you went to your doctor's office, you can't get your flu shot yet.

AUSTIN, Texas — Normally you can get your flu shot by now, but if you're looking to get it from your doctor's office, you're going to have to wait a little longer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its new recommendation for this flu season. There were some changes to make the vaccine more effective, and now one of the brands will serve younger children.

Dr. Leighton Ellis, pediatric department chair for St. David's Children's Hospital, told KVUE that’s the reason the vaccine is coming to doctors to weeks later.

The most notable change listed in the recommendations impacts children. The age requirement for one particular brand called the Afluria Quadrivalent changed. It went from serving children five years old and up to children six months old and up.

RELATED: 19-year-old man dies at Houston hospital after getting the flu, family says

Dr. Ellis said another brand went down to 18 months, so that means labeling changes had to be made. She also mentioned that it meant younger kids could now get more brands than they used to. This could impact the rest of us in a good way.

“The impact is that usually then you're not going to have any shortages when there are more manufacturers making the vaccines for the babies," Dr. Ellis explained. "And, of course, I think everybody knows that kids under five, specifically kids under two, are at a much higher risk for death and hospitalization due to the flu. So, having those vaccines available is great.”

RELATED: Austin Public Health sees increase in people seeking flu shots

Doctors recommend that you get the flu shot as soon as it becomes available, especially if you’re in the vulnerable population. The vulnerable population includes pregnant women, morbidly obese people, people with a BMI over 40, people with asthma, people with immune deficiency, people over 50 and children under five years old.

WATCH: Why pregnant women should get the flu shot

"When [the flu] comes, it comes fast and furious and you want to be prepared and you wanna be vaccinated," Dr. Ellis said. "When everybody's vaccinated and we have a matched vaccine, we have a very good year with fewer hospitalizations and fewer deaths."

The flu season can come as early as October and run as late as April. If you're looking to get your flu vaccine from your doctor's office, you won’t have to wait much longer. We’re told doctor’s offices should have them mid-September.


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