Flu season approaching, vaccines rolling out

by Tracie Potts
NBC News

The flu is on the way, and so is the vaccine.

Up to 132-million doses will be delivered this year, more than ever, but experts say those who need most often don't get the vaccine.

Even more surprising is the fact that 60 percent of health care workers don't get flu shots.

"There's a tremendous level of fear among our members, health care workers around the country, and it's unfortunate," explained Bill Borwegan of the Service Employees International Union.

Even though the strain most prevalent in other parts of the world this year isn't in this vaccine, flu experts insist it will work.

"Even in a year when the vaccine is not a good match for a circulating strain of virus, we still see protection," said the CDC's Dr. Julie Gerberding.

36-thousand Americans die from flu every year.

The AARP says most, but not all of them, are over 65.

100 children under five also die every year according to the CDC.

On Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration approved Flumist, the nasal spray vaccine, for children as young as two.

Flu shots are free through medicare.

Experts also recommend pneumonia shots, especially for high risk groups.

The flu vaccine is recommended for children between six months and five years old, pregnant women, and people over 50.

Those with chronic illnesses, their families and caregivers, nursing home residents and health care workers are also urged to get the vaccine.