MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two new studies are reminding parents that getting children vaccinated for the flu can save lives.

One study shows the flu vaccine is critical not just for children with existing medical issues, but also children without health problems.

Researchers looked at pediatric flu-related deaths and found that 43 percent were in healthy children.

A second study shows that schools that offer vaccinations have higher rates of attendance and lower rates of flu.

“Kids spread the virus up to two days before they show any symptoms of the flu, and for up to 10 days after, so it’s a very long period they’re contagious and people may not realize it,” said pediatrician Tamiko Jordan.

Doctors want to remind parents that the less painful nasal spray vaccine is also an option, instead of a shot.