TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The flu has claimed the life of a second child in New Jersey this season.

The state health department says the toddler lived in the northern part of the state and died earlier this month. In a statement, New Jersey health commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal reminded people that the flu vaccine is the best protection against the potentially fatal illness.

The first pediatric death from influenza in New Jersey came in December in central New Jersey.

“This sad news is a reminder that children, the elderly, and people with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications,” Dr. Elnahal said.

“Vaccination is critical for health care workers to protect patients, caregivers, and themselves.”

New Jersey health officials are also recommending that people take extra precautions during this flu season, including washing your hands frequently, covering any coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you’re sick (especially with a fever).