JACKSON, Miss. – 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. “Seasonal flu usually peaks in January through March in Mississippi, but flu activity can occur even in the fall. Mississippians should take the flu seriously and get a yearly flu shot.”
Those particularly at risk for influenza complications include young children, adults 50 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.
For adults, the different types of vaccinations available this year are as follows:
· Standard seasonal flu vaccination or nasal mist for $30;
· Quadrivalent (four strains included rather than three) flu vaccination for $30;
· High-dose flu vaccination for those 65 and older for $55; and
· Pneumococcal vaccination for $83.
For children, standard seasonal flu vaccination or nasal mist is available for $30. 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.
The MSDH accepts Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan (AHS).
Symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, cough, and often, extreme fatigue. Sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and a runny or stuffy nose are also often present. More severe symptoms and death can also occur.
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. Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.