LOS ANGELES (AP) — Health officials say all Californians older than 6 months should get the flu vaccine this year, broadening recommendations from previous years.

State epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez says this year’s influenza vaccine, Trivalent, will protect against the H1N1 virus, and two other strains of the virus.

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In the past, flu vaccines were encouraged for immune-compromised populations, like the elderly.

The state is now experiencing sporadic flu activity, which is expected to increase in fall and winter.

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Statewide, 1.8 million free vaccinations will be given through the Vaccines for Children program, and another 800,000 free doses are being distributed to local health departments.

The Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health says this year’s flu shot will cover three different strains, including the H1N1 virus. Learn more about the flu, symptoms and treatment at Flu.gov. Flu shots are available for a fee at several retailers, including Costco, Albertsons, Walgreens and CVS.

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