Health experts in Mississippi are encouraging people to get flu shots as cases of the virus have begun to rise across the state.
Doctor visits for influenza-like illnesses have increased drastically in the past couple of weeks, the Mississippi State Department of Health reports. With flu season expected to peak in January, health leaders are advising the public to take action now.
“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 is a seasonal threat that can result in extended illness or hospitalization. According to the MSDH, vaccination is the best way to protect adults and children from the virus and its complications.
Seasonal flu shots are recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control each year for everyone six months of age and older. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and death. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for full protection against the flu to take effect.
County health departments across Mississippi are offering flu shots for children under the age of 18 as well as underinsured adults.