This yearâ€™s seasonal flu shot protects from three predicted strains of the flu virus, according to Dr. Roma Taylor, district health officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Dr. Taylor said the seasonal flu shot protects from H1N1, and the H3N2, as well as an additional B virus expected to be going around this season.
â€śThe flu season peaks in January, but we are already seeing flu cases, so it is important to immunize the whole family,â€ť Taylor said.
While not 100 percent effective, the flu shot is the best line of protection against the flu.
According to Taylor, there is a significant death rate resulting from the flu, therefore it is important for older people, children and those with chronic illnesses should get the flu shot, as well as members of their families.
The Oktibbeha County Health Department is holding a special flu clinic today from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Taylor reminds residents that â€śit is impossible to get the flu from the flu shot.â€ť She said the immunization is a dead virus and getting sick from the shot is not possible.
Todayâ€™s special flu clinic will focus primarily on seasonal flu vaccinations in order to give resident the opportunity to move through the process efficiently.
At all county health departments, adult flu vaccinations are $20. For children six months through 18 years old can get the flu vaccine for $10.
For senior adults 65 years old and older, there is a new vaccine designed to boost immunity and provide increased protection against influenza infection.
Taylor said this is great for older adults who are at high-risk for the flu.
The cost for the new vaccine for senior adults is $50, but Taylor said the shot is covered by Medicare Part B, so all Medicare and Medicaid recipients are asked to bring their cards with them to the Health Department.
Flu vaccinations are available
Monday through Friday at all county health departments, from private providers and in selected retail pharmacies.
For more information about todayâ€™s special flu clinic at the Oktibbeha County Health Department, give them a call at 323-4565.
To learn more about the flu, pneumonia or vaccine availability, go to http://www.HealthyMS.com.