Officials from the Mississippi State Department of Health have confirmed the state’s second pediatric flu death of the 2023-2024 flu season on Thursday.
A pediatric death is defined as the death of an individual under the age of 18.
There have been a total of 26 pediatric flu deaths, including this one, in the state since pediatric flu deaths were first reported during the 2008-2009 flu season. Flu season in Mississippi usually peaks between January and March, and the vaccine can take up to two weeks to provide immunity.
The patient in this case had not received a flu vaccine this season, according to the health department.
“We highly encourage people to get a flu shot. A vaccination won’t necessarily keep you from getting the flu, although it can reduce your risk of infection and is the best protection to keep you from a severe outcome,” interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Taylor said in a press release. “With a few months left in this season, we recommend everyone six months of age and older consider a flu and COVID-19 vaccination.”
For individuals 18 and under, flu shots are covered by insurance, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program. Some children may be eligible for free vaccination under the Vaccines for Children Program at qualifying locations.
Uninsured and underinsured adults who meet certain high-risk criteria qualify for an adult influenza vaccination at county health department clinics. The vaccine is available for insured adults through pharmacies, retailers and private physicians throughout the state.
Read original article by clicking here.