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Special to the Herald TimesRBC I State influenza experts would like to remind parents that now is the time to get their younger children a second dose of flu vaccine if they fall into the category of children needing two doses this season. Children aged six months through eight years should receive two doses of influenza vaccine, separated by at least four weeks, the first time they receive a flu vaccination. In addition, if that child received only one dose the first year they were vaccinated, he or she should receive two doses the next flu season to allow their bodies to build full immunity.Joni Reynolds, director of the Immunization Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said, “Many young children do not receive a second dose of influenza vaccine, leaving them vulnerable to flu and complications from the flu. People often underestimate the severity of the illness and the impact flu can have on their child’s health and their own health. It’s a good time for parents to get their children the second dose of flu vaccine if they haven’t done so.”During this flu season, 340 hospitalizations from influenza have been reported in Colorado from 33 counties.Although this year’s flu season is considered to be “mild-to-moderate” according to state surveillance experts, flu cases are increasing in Colorado and nationally. “Influenza is circulating, sickening many people and will continue to circulate in Colorado, and nationally, for the next couple of months. It’s a good time for everyone to get their flu vaccination,” said Reynolds.In addition to the flu vaccination, Reynolds encouraged Coloradans to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of flu by frequently washing their hands, covering their cough and staying home when sick.To find a flu clinic, visit www.immunizecolorado.com or call 1-877-462-2911. For more information on flu surveillance in Colorado, visit the Department of Public Health and Environment’s Influenza website at http://www.cdphe. state.co.us/dc/Influenza/index.html.