Flu shots: One change made at Miss. Health Departments

MISSISSIPPI (WTOK) - ALABAMA (WTOK) - Coughs, muscle aches, and fever are just some of the most common symptoms of the flu. Effecting millions of Americans each year, according to the CDC the peak time for flu season is between late November and March. However, local health-care officials say now is the time to get the shot.

"It can take a week or two before you start developing immunity to the flu," says District Health Officer, Dr. Christy Barnett with the Mississippi Department of Health. "So, get ahead and get your shots now, and hopefully get you protected for the upcoming flu season."

This year one thing has changed for people who want to get a flu shot at health department sites throughout Mississippi. The shots are only given to children at those clinics, and to people who are in certain high risk populations.

"If they have tuberculosis or are HIV adult patients," says Barnett, "but we are no longer providing adult immunizations for the flu."

Doctor Barnett also says the use of our hands is one of the most common ways that the virus is transferred.

"The use of hand sanitizers is effective," says Barnett. " Anytime you're in public with other people shaking hands, use Germ-X, Wash your hands and do things like that."

Doctor Barnett stresses that a person cannot get the flu from getting a flu shot. She says people who are most at risk of contracting the flu are: young children, senior citizens and people with compromised immune systems.