Flu season is among us - even here in the warmer state of Florida. Last year's flu season was one Last year's flu season was one of the worst in recent memory and officials say although this season is off to a slower start, people should still get flu vaccines. Channel 4's Erica Rakow talked to a local doctor about why it's so important for people to get their flu shot, even if they've never had the flu. Erica? 3 3 Despite the vaccine's success rates, this year, only 40% of people ages 6 months or older have been vaccinated. I spoke to a local doctor who says that number should be a lot higher -- saying the flu shot is nothing but beneficial to your health. 3 :01-:08:10-:16SOT - 3537 its our weather its warmer here so our season is later typically in november and december its hitting the rest of the nation pretty hard but it doesn't hit here until january or febTRACK - Dr. Vickie Prince says the number of flu cases in Florida are typically lower than other states due to a shorter flu season ...but new CDC guidelines suggest getting the vaccine as soon as it's available.SOT - 3850 the CDC now recommends the flu shots be given immediately after they're available in the past they recommended mid october or later but as soon as they start seeing flu shot signs get it right awayPRE PRO - Last year 381,000 people were hospitalized and 169 children died from the flu.The good news is the flu vaccine prevented millions of illnesses last year -- it's estimated that it prevented 6.6 million people from getting sick, 3.2 million from going to a see a doctor and at least 79,000 hospitalizationsT RACK - Dr. Prince recommends getting a flu shot EVERY year -- new strains of the flu are found every summer and new shots are made each year to protect you from those specific strains.SOT - 3607 the flu virus changes every year and throughout the year so a year thats bad and a strain comes out that we havent seen before theres many people who are not immune to it You may have heard that getting the flu vaccine makes you sick. Dr. Prince says that is a giant rumor.She says many tests have been done negating that the flu shot will make you sick. She adds that the shot is a killed virus, not live, so it's impossible for it to cause an illness.