JACKSON, Miss.–Over 600 Mississippians die each year from the flu and pneumonia, according to the state Dept. of Health’s website. That’s probably the reason that in the past couple of weeks you’ve started to see those signs about flu shots popping up at places like Walgreens and CVS.
“As one indicator of severity last season, we tragically witnessed some 164 pediatric deaths (nation-wide),” said Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary at the federal Dept. of Health and Human Services, at a press conference Thursday about the upcoming flu season. “That’s the highest number reported since data collection began, except for the 2009 pandemic year.”
Dr. Anne Schuchet, with the CDC, says in adults there is a big difference in who ends up getting the flu shot.
“Whites and Asians have almost ten percentage points higher than blacks and Hispanics,” she said.
Everyone six months or older is being urged to get the flu shot this year. Koh recommends that anyone with exceptional risk, like heart disease, diabetes and asthma, certainly get the shot.
The Miss. Dept. of Health offers the shot for $10 for anyone six months to 18 and $25 for adults. There’s also a special booster for $50 for the elderly, that is covered by Medicare part B.
LINK: The Miss. Dept. of Health recommendations: http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,199.html