BROOKLYN - Although this flu season is still in high gear, Brooklyn families with older children can start planning ahead for vaccinations during the next one.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel now recommends that kids up to the age of 18 get flu vaccinations.

The CDC previously recommended that only children from ages 6 months to 5 years receive the vaccinations. But with the prevalence of the flu in schools, the recommended age has been increased.

"To interrupt the spread of flu in this country, the children are - especially school-aged children - are a group to target," said Dr. Marguerite Mayers, a pediatrician at Montefiore Medical Center.

Flu vaccines usually take three weeks to take effect, so the ideal time to receive one is in October. Starting with next year's flu season, the vaccines will be available to Brooklyn residents over the age of 5.

Related information: - Montefiore Medical Center - Flu Fact Sheet