Physicians are stressing the importance of getting vaccinated as a new flu season takes off.

During last year’s flu season, the virus and its complications claimed an estimated 80,000 American lives — the highest number in at least four decades.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta recommends immunization for everyone 6 months and older, said Dr. Laurence Blosser, medical director of the Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians Group. “But if you’re at high risk there is more urgency and necessity to get immunized.”

Certain people are more at risk of catching the flu bug and suffering serious complications, so it behooves all of us to get vaccinated to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable among us, physicians say.

“The best protection we have, short of putting someone in a bubble, is the flu vaccine,” said Dr. Miller Sullivan, medical director at Franklin County Public Health.