The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine every flu season.
You may be wondering if you should get the flu vaccine this year, and the answer is yes. Although activity remains low nationally, there is increased flu activity across the country and in Mississippi. Flu season usually peaks in our state January – March, so there is still time to get your flu vaccine.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Members can receive the flu vaccine at no out-of-pocket cost from a Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Network Provider or Network Pharmacy. Another plus, the flu vaccine can now be given at the same time as COVID-19 vaccinations.
Influenza is a contagious disease which affects the lungs and can lead to serious illness, including pneumonia. Even healthy people can get sick enough to miss work or school for a significant amount of time or even be hospitalized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the annual flu shot for everyone 6 months or older each season with rare exceptions for individuals with certain allergies. It takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccination for antibodies which protect against the flu to develop in your body.
You Need to Get a Flu Vaccine Every Year
You need to get a flu vaccine every year to protect yourself against the viruses that research suggests are most likely to circulate each season. There are two reasons for getting a flu vaccine every year:
Flu viruses are constantly changing, so flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests will be common during the upcoming flu season.
The second reason annual vaccination is recommended is because a person’s immune protection from the vaccine declines over time. Annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection.
Reasons to get the flu shot include:
Protecting those around you who are vulnerable or may not be able to get their flu shot
Helping keep you from getting sick with the flu
Prevents complications for those with metabolic health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
Helps protect women during pregnancy
Remember, taking care today, leads to an even healthier tomorrow.