ST. PAUL (AP) — State health officials say three more children have died of complications of the flu, bringing the number of Minnesota children who have died of influenza this season to four.

The number of Minnesotans hospitalized with flu symptoms has topped 4,200. That's the highest number since the Minnesota Department of Health began tracking flu hospitalizations in 2008.

Preliminary figures released Thursday suggest this year's flu vaccine is 36 percent effective overall, and only 25 percent effective against this season's most dominant strain, Type A H3N2.

But Karen Martin, an epidemiologist at the Health Department, says it's still worthwhile for people to get vaccinated, and that officials are encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated, in light of the new cases of child deaths from the flu.

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