Flu vaccine is an investment in your health

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The seasonal flu vaccine is available at all county health departments across the state of Mississippi, according to a press release from the Mississippi Department of Health. The vaccination is recommended for anyone 6 months and older according to the release.

The release says those particularly at risk for influenza complications include young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with chronic illness it also states that nationwide, there are up to 200,000 hospitalizations and anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year due to the flu.

Dr. Paul Byers, deputy state epidemiologist at the Mississippi State Department of Helath said, “Each year it is important for folks to get a flu vaccine and the influenza vaccination is an important and effective way of preventing infection.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Center for Disease Control recommends that you should get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available, said Byers. It is important to make sure that you’re vaccinated now, he said.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everybody, even if a person is healthy.

“Anybody over the age of 6 months is recommended to get the vaccine yearly. Even healthy people can become infected with influenza and have hospitalizations and complications from the flu. Some of the complications that we do see from influenza are death,” Byers said.

Sometimes people who have the vaccination can be infected by flu, but the vaccine protects against complications, Byers said. For those who get the flu it significantly reduces the chance of complications, he said.

The flu vaccine is offered in three different ways: the seasonal flu vaccine for $30; the flu nasal mist for $35 and the high-dose flu vaccination for those 65 and older which is $55.

The flu vaccination is worth the price, Byers said.

“Most people think that flu is a mild disease, but it’s not. It reduces risk of spreading infection to other people it is worth the investment in your health,” Byers said.

Byers also gave some tips to help reduce the spread of the flu.

He said people should cover their coughs and sneezes, wash their hands throughout the day, stay home if they are sick and make sure kids don’t go to school if they’re sick.