Gazebo Gazette

Flu Fighters, a coalition of Mississippi associations and agencies, has united to encourage all Mississippians to get their flu shot this year. The Institutions of Higher Learning, the Mississippi Association of Family Physicians, the Mississippi Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics, the Mississippi Hospital Association, the Mississippi Nurses Association, the Mississippi State Department of Health, and the Mississippi State Medical Association invite the public to join us in the effort and Fight Flu, Mississippi!

A flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu and its potentially serious complications. This year, getting your flu shot can save others too. Even though the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it can help keep Mississippians healthy and prevent hospitalizations during the pandemic.

The 2018-2019 flu season alone saw over half a million hospitalizations. During this pandemic, hospitals are already overstretched. One way you can do your part is by taking the proper precautions to lower your risk of getting the flu and COVID — including getting your flu shot.

A flu shot is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. Individuals that are at most risk for getting severely ill from the flu are young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people aged 65 years and older. It takes approximately two weeks after flu shot for your body to develop protection against the flu, which lasts about six months.

“Because the viruses that cause flu and COVID-19 might spread at the same time this fall and winter, getting a flu vaccine is particularly important as a way to reduce the amount of flu disease and symptoms that may be confused with COVID-19, and to reduce stress on the U.S. healthcare system,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in their recent flu vaccination recommendations.

According to the CDC, getting a flu shot reduces the risk of being admitted to the ICU with flu by 82%.

Flu shots are offered at hospitals, health care providers’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, schools, college health centers and from many employers. Find a flu shot in your area at VaccineFinder.org.

For more information, follow the Flu Fighters on social media with the #FightFluMS hashtag.