The first pediatric flu death of the 2023-2024 season has been confirmed, the Mississippi State Department of Health reports.
Pediatric deaths are defined as deaths of individuals under 18 years of age. Including this reported death, there have been a total of 25 pediatric flu deaths reported in Mississippi since the 2008-2009 flu season.
Experts with the MSDH recommend vaccination against the flu as the best means of protecting oneself from the virus. Flu season typically peaks in January through March in Mississippi, and the flu shot usually takes up to two weeks to produce immunity.
“Vaccination is the best protection against flu and the severe outcomes from flu infection.” Interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Taylor said, “All individuals 6 months of age and older are recommended to get an updated flu and COVID-19 vaccine this season.”
Flu shots for those 18 and under eligible for the vaccines for children’s program are available at County Health Departments across the state.
Insurance, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are also accepted for children’s flu shots. A list of all VFC providers can be found here.