Doctors encourage people to start preparing for flu season now

Doctors encourage people to start preparing for flu season now

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A lot of people start preparing for flu season in the fall by getting their flu shots. And Memorial Hospital at Gulfport has also started making preparations by offering free flu vaccines using their mobile physician clinic.

Their first stop of the season was in Long Beach this week. They are offering free flu shots to give people an incentive to make them as healthy as possible.

Clinical coordinator for Memorial’s Physician Clinic, Rachel Walker, says the time is now because flu activity usually picks up in October and November, peaking around February.

Memorial hopes by setting up various locations on the Coast it will encourage more people to get the flu shot.

“I’ve thought about it but never took the time,” explained Bryan Ladner, who got the shot for the first time.

“There you go. Nothing to it,” he said.

Ladner’s past experience with the flu had him thinking twice this flu season.

“I had the flu last year, so this year, my wife sent me down here,” he explained.

And experts say people like Ladner can expect some protection through the spring. But it’s important to remember the vaccine is only part of the prevention plan.

“So we encourage people to get the flu shot. Also hand washing, covering your cough, trying to prevent the spread of flu to keep everyone healthy,” explained Walker.

Even though the flu shot is no guarantee you won’t get the flu, there is evidence that the vaccine can ease the severity of the flu if you do get sick.

The CDC recommends everyone over age the age of 6 months gets vaccinated against the flu, including expectant mothers.

Memorial has two more free flu shot clinics scheduled in the coming weeks. The next is October 14th at Memorial’s Digestive Health Center in Ocean Springs, and after that November 2nd at Memorial Hospital at Stone County.

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