Jackson County

You need a flu shot but you’ll probably have to pay

The peak flu season is just beginning on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Getting a flu shot is still a good idea to increase the odds of staying healthy during this period.
The peak flu season is just beginning on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Getting a flu shot is still a good idea to increase the odds of staying healthy during this period. Sun Herald/File

Coast health departments used to give the flu shot to anyone who walked up, because immunizations are the foundation of public health.

But this year, they turned people away, pointing to cutbacks.

Now they have announced they have flu shots for children but not most adults.

Shots for kids are available on the Coast at Health Department county clinics that are still open.

“This flu season, MSDH will offer flu vaccinations only for children through the age of 18,” a recent release stated, “and to uninsured and underinsured adults who meet certain high-risk criteria.”

The Mississippi State Department of Health still recommends seasonal flu vaccination for anyone six months and older, especially for those at higher risk from flu complications — young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses. But most adults are on their own finding one.

The state says the flu shot is strongly recommended for pregnant women to help protect their unborn child.

“While vaccination is the best protection,” the state said, “basic infection control measures can also reduce the spread of flu. These measures include covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, staying at home when you or your children are sick, and washing your hands frequently.”

Health Department locations

  • George County: 166 West Ratliff St., Lucedale
  • Hancock County: 856 U.S. 90, Bay St. Louis
  • Harrison County: 1102 45th Ave., Gulfport
  • Harrison County — Biloxi Clinic — CLOSED.
  • Jackson County: 4600 Vega St., Pascagoula
  • Jackson County — Ocean Springs Clinic — CLOSED.
  • Pearl River County: 7547 Highway 11 North, Carriere
  • Stone County: 1510 Central Ave. East, Wiggins
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