MSDH: Flu vaccinations available at all county health departments

MSDH: Flu vaccinations available at all county health departments
One important difference between the viruses is that there is a vaccine for the flu. (Source: Live 5/File)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Seasonal influenza vaccinations are now available for children and qualifying adults at all Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) county health departments.

Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older as the best protection against the flu.

“We recommend that all Mississippians get their flu shots every year, but especially this year with COVID-19. We don’t want to risk overwhelming our hospitals,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

Dr. Byers said that flu season can occur as early as November and as late as March in Mississippi, but usually peaks anywhere from December through February.

“We recommend getting vaccinated now before we reach peak flu activity. Influenza vaccine is especially important for young children, pregnant women, those over 65, and those with underlying health problems,” he said. “Flu vaccination is the best way to protect both children and adults from serious complications such as hospitalization, and in many cases, death.”

Adults who are underinsured or uninsured and who meet certain high-risk criteria qualify for an adult flu vaccination at MSDH county health department clinics. Flu shots for insured adults are now widely available through private physicians, pharmacies and retail centers.

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. Wearing a face covering in public places offers additional protection against the flu.

Please call your local county health department to make an appointment for your vaccination.

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