Flu Vaccine Now Available at County Health Departments
Jackson, MS — Seasonal flu shots are now available at all Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) county clinics. Seasonal flu vaccination is recommended for anyone age six months and older.
“The flu shot is absolutely your best protection against the flu,” said MSDH State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier. “The vaccine takes one to two weeks to produce immunity, and although flu season usually peaks in January through March, it sometimes reaches high levels as early as December. Now is the perfect time of year to get your flu shot.”
Those particularly at risk for influenza complications include young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses.
“It’s also important to remember that children under six months are too young to receive the vaccination. Caretakers of these infants need to be vaccinated to help prevent the spread of flu to this especially vulnerable age group,” said Currier.
Nationwide, there are up to 200,000 hospitalizations and anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year because of the flu.
“Most people recover without difficulty, but even young and otherwise healthy people can have complications and die from the flu,” said Currier.
For adults, the different types of vaccinations available this year are as follows:
Seasonal flu vaccination for $30;
Flu nasal mist for $35; and
High-dose flu vaccination for those 65 and older for $55
Those 18 and under who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children program or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can receive the vaccination for $10. Insurance is accepted for children’s flu shots. The MSDH accepts Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan (AHS) for adults.
While vaccination is the best protection, basic infection control measures can also reduce the spread of flu and should be taken whether or not individuals are vaccinated. These measures include covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, staying at home when you or your children are sick, and washing your hands frequently.
To locate a county health department clinic in your area or for more information on flu and pneumonia, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com/flu.