The flu season won't peak in the state until early next year, but health officials say now is the time to get a flu shot, before it actually starts going around.
"The flu shot is the least expensive way of preventing you from getting the flu and having to spend a lot more money, either out of pocket or even in the hospital," said Leslie Hull, owner-manager of Medicap Pharmacy. "So it's important to get a flu shot, very much so."
Getting the flu shot for about $25 can save you $50 to $100 for a product like Tamiflu, if you get the flu.
"If you get the flu and you haven't had the flu shot, you're looking at maybe being prescribed Tamiflu or some other antiviral to help decrease the number of days that you have the flu. Then you and the rest of your family will probably get it, and have to take the same medicine," said Hull. "You're looking at maybe $50 or more a pop at the Tamiflu. So if you have a pretty large family, you're talking in the hundreds of dollars where you could have gotten the flu shot, you know, at $20, $25, $26, $27."
If you are worried about getting the flu from the shot, Hull says that common belief is not true.
"It is a dead virus. Now you may have an immune response, depending on how your immune system is, and if you do, that would be a good thing even though you may feel bad a day or so. That means your immune system is kicking in and it's doing what it's supposed to do," Hull said.
Flu shots are also available at every local health department in Mississippi right now, as well as many other pharmacies. They cost 25 dollars for adults. But through the Vaccines for Children Program, they only cost $10 for people under 18 years old.