JACKSONVILLE, Fla – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children six months or older should be vaccinated by now, but it's not too late.
In the war against the flu, doctors have the best weapon. The vaccine significantly reduces the risk of getting the virus, especially for kids who are most at risk.
"They're in day cares and sharing things and they're at a larger risk for ending up in the hospital," Dr. Sara Largen, a pediatrician at St. Vincent's Hospital, said.
Largen said the vaccine can take about two weeks to kick in. Donivan Bishop's boys are prepared.
"We like them, we do them every year," Bishop said.
We can all relate to busy mom Emily Mackowski.
"We haven't gotten ours yet," Emily Mackowski, a mother said. "I will probably go in costume."
Some parents said that they avoid getting their children shots because they are distressed by needles. But doctors advise that's not a good excuse now that the flu mist has been proven less effective
For parents concerned about bringing their kids into the doctors office, there are some steps that can be taken to comfort and distract kids while they get the shot. Bring food, bring your own toys to comfort them and avoid catching germs from waiting room toys, and use phone or tablets to keep their eyes off the needle.
There are some myths that prevent parents from getting their kids the shot. but doctors warn the vaccine contains an inactive virus, so it can't get your kids sick. Some side effects include low-grade fever and fussiness after the shot. It's safe for kids ages six months and older.
Doctors said if your child is getting a flu shot for the very first time, and they are under 8 years, they will need to get two shots a month apart.
During the 2016-17 season, more than 100 U.S. children died of the flu, and thousands more were hospitalized for severe illness or complications from the virus, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Historically, more than 80 percent of children who die of influenza were not vaccinated.