Item Staff Report
The Picayune Item
According to a press release from the Mississippi State Department of Health, seasonal flu shots are now available at all county health clinics and are recommended for anyone age six months and older.
For children, the standard flu vaccine and nasal mist are available at the health clinics for $30. If a child 18 years or younger is eligible for the Vaccines for Children program or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the vaccine is $10.
For adults, four types of vaccines are available at the county health clinics. The standard seasonal flu vaccination or nasal mist is $30, the quadrivalent flu vaccination is $30, the high dose vaccination for those 65 years and older is $55, and the pneumococcal vaccination is $83.
The quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against four strains of the flu instead of three strains that the standard seasonal flu vaccination wards against.
“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.”
The Mississippi State Department of Health accepts Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan.
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 occur.
The MSDH press release also said that while vaccination is the best protection, basic infection control measures can 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.
The Pearl River County Health Department is located at 7547 U.S. Highway 11 North in Carriere.