Now’s the time to get a flu shot

Published 8:26 pm Thursday, October 11, 2018

There are several reasons why getting a yearly flu shot is recommended by physicians for most people. But one of the most significant reasons is if you do not get the vaccine, you might impact someone else with the infection that could cause their life to be in danger.

The U.S. government said more than 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter, the most in at least four decades. Unfortunately, three Mississippi children died from the flu last year.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 36,000 people die each year from the flu and its complications.

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Compare that death toll to how worried people in this part of the country get about mosquitoes and West Nile virus, which claims less than 150 lives a year in the U.S. 

Last year’s flu outbreak was made worse by a vaccine that didn’t work as well as it normally does. Nevertheless, health experts emphasize the vaccination is well worth doing. It can ward off the illness or, at a minimum, make its impact less severe.

MSDH recommends flu shots for all those older than six months of age.

January through March is usually the peak season for the flu. But it’s never too early to get the flu shot. Last year, officials with the Mississippi State Department of Health said flu activity began as early as October.

The flu shot is readily available at county health department offices, pharmacies and doctors’ offices. And as a reminder, getting the flu shot does not mean you will get the flu.

We encourage you and your family and co-workers to get the flu shot. The more people who obtain the flu shot that you’re around, the less likely you are going to get the flu and spread the potentially deadly disease.

So do us all a favor and get the flu shot.