By Stephanie Stahl

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The flu has already turned deadly, claiming the life of a child in Florida. Officials say a big part of the problem is not enough people are getting vaccinated.

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While the levels are still low, influenza has a arrived in our area as there was a confirmed case in Delaware last week.

Doctors say flu shots are the best way to protect against the virus and they’re worried about all the “non-believers.”

Eric Teitel is getting a flu shot at his local pharmacy. A doctor himself, he says he does whatever he can to stay healthy.

“The flu can be a very deadly disease, especially as we get older,” said Teitel.

Flu vaccines are recommended for anyone over 6 months of age, but a new national survey shows many parents question the safety and effectiveness.

The Florida child who recently died from the flu was not vaccinated.

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A study from a hospital there reports 53 percent of those surveyed believe flu vaccines can cause children to get sick with the flu. Thirty-four percent believe the flu vaccine doesn’t work.

“You cannot get flu from the flu vaccine,” said Dr. William Schaffner. “This vaccine and others do not give you autism. Influenza vaccine is safe. Each year we have many cases of influenza among children, and some of those children sadly die and most of those children are unvaccinated.”

Last year’s flu season was the deadliest in at least four decades as 80,000 people died from the flu and its complications.

Doctors say the time to get the flu vaccine is now. The CDC recommends everyone gets vaccinated before the end of October.

“The flu virus is out there, it’s just getting started. You know, after you get vaccinated, it takes about ten days, two weeks, for your protection to build up,” said Schaffner.

Joseph Gilbert gets the flu shot every year. He hopes more people make it a priority.

“The more people who get flu shots, the less people who are able to get the flu,” said Gilbert.

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Doctors say the flu is highly contagious, spread by the coughs and sneezes from an infected person and people are contagious one to two days before getting symptoms. This means that you can spread the influenza virus before you even know you are infected.

Stephanie Stahl