NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The push is on for people to get their flu shots sooner rather than later.

Twenty-one-month-old Natalie Sood wasn’t happy about getting her shot, but her mom knew it’s what’s best for her.

“I just feel that they need to be protected, and this is the way we know how to protect them right now,” mother Kavita Sood said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children receive their flu vaccinations by the end of October, if possible.

More: Changes Coming To Flu Shots This Season: What You Need To Know

“In 2016 to 2017, over 100 U.S. children died of the flu, and several thousands more were hospitalized for complications of the flue or from severe illness,” said Dr. Elissa Rubin, of Happy and Healthy Pediatrics.

She said it takes two weeks for the shot to protect against the virus, so it’s important to get vaccinated now before the season gets underway.

It’s hard to predict how hard the flu will hit this year, but there are signs we could be in for a tough season, CBS News’ Meg Oliver reported.

“This summer in the Southern Hemisphere this summer where they had their winter, they had a hard flu season with this strain we call H3N2, which causes severe disease, particularly among people age 65 and older,” said Dr. William Schaffner, of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Sood said her older daughter brings home lots of germs, so she doesn’t take any chances when it comes to flu prevention.

“Children are prone to picking up viruses and other illnesses from other kids, so we have to protect them as much as possible,” she said.

She also makes sure her kids wash their hands as much as possible.

Research shows about 80 percent of children who die from the flu aren’t vaccinated.


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