With flu activity recently at a 13-year high and COVID-19 cases rising across the state, Mississippi health officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated against both viruses.
State epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers explained during a Thursday press conference that even if you have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, he still recommends eligible individuals get the updated booster.
“Many people in this state have been fully vaccinated against COVID and that’s important, but a vaccine that you got months and months or even a year ago is not going to necessarily provide you with the adequate protection,” Byers said. “So, it’s important to get that bivalent booster if you’re eligible. Additionally, get the flu vaccine.”
The updated COVID-19 booster, which is now approved for everyone above the age of six months, specifically targets the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. In its weekly report, the Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed 3,379 recorded cases, which is a 160 percent increase from two weeks ago.
Flu-wise, Byers said that the numbers are still high but have slightly decreased since reaching a record level in November.
Both the COVID-19 booster and the flu shot are readily available at county health departments across the state. The full MSDH press conference can be watched below.