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New poll: One-third of parents won't get their kids flu shots

Doctors say it is more important than ever to make sure everyone in your home is vaccinated.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — We're about to enter flu season and just like every year, doctors are urging everyone to get the flu vaccine.  

Doctors say the best time to do it is between now and the end of October. But, a new National Poll on Children's Health shows some parents are hesitant to get their kids a flu shot.

One in three say it's unlikely they'll get their child the flu vaccine this year. Their big concerns: side effects from the shot and the effectiveness of the vaccine.  

Doctors say it is more important than ever to make sure everyone in your home is vaccinated.

"Flu and COVID, their symptoms overlap, and it's nearly impossible to tell one from the other. So, if we have the ability to protect our children from one or the other let's do what we can to protect them," said Dr. Joseph Perno is the Chief Medical Officer at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. 

He says the vaccine is effective even if you do wind up getting the flu. 

"What we've seen is that even kids who test positive for flu who had the flu vaccine usually have a much milder case and they're not the kids who end up in our hospital, thus taking up hospital beds or even worse in our intensive care units."

Dr. Perno says if everyone gets the flu vaccine and continues with all the things we are currently doing to prevent COVID-19, like hand washing, social distancing and wearing masks, it could lead to a mild flu season. 

"It works for every virus out there, whether it's our routine sniffles and colds that go by, flu. So, keeping up the good work all the kids are doing and the adults are doing is going to help us across the board."

Another concern some parents have is actually taking their child to the pediatrician's office to get the shot. Dr. Perno says these doctors have had months to work out all safety protocols to make sure they can see their patients safely and he would feel safe going to any doctor's office.

 If you can't make it to your doctor's office, you can always contact your county health department to find out how and when you can get the flu vaccine.

RELATED: How can I tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19?

RELATED: Former CDC Director gives insight on coronavirus vaccine, flu season

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