Health department begins offering flu shots, officials hope for mild season

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department began offering flu shots Monday.

Screen Shot 2020 09 21 At 4.57.57 Pm

“It reduces your risk of flu-related complications,” said Mallory Cooke, the health department’s public information officer. “Every year thousands of people are hospitalized because of the flu.”

Last year, 11 children died due to flu-related complications in Tennessee, and Cooke says if you’re able to prevent the flu from happening, that’s the most important reason to get the vaccine.

“But this is a way to protect yourself, to protect your community, also this is a very strange year — we’re in the year of COVID-19, there’s no vaccine yet for COVID-19,” Cooke said.

West Tennessee Healthcare has already started to see flu patients this year, and health officials are recommending a flu shot.

“The flu vaccine reduces your risk of ending up at the hospital, so we recommend that people get vaccinated,” Cooke said. “Get your children vaccinated, protect yourself. We’re faithful that there is a flu vaccine and hopefully eventually there’ll be a COVID-19 vaccine.”

It’s important for people who are high risk such as children, pregnant women, and people with underlying health issues to get the flu shot. But health officials know some residents still have concerns.

“Getting the flu vaccine does not mean you’re going to get the flu,” Cooke said. “It’s great protection from getting the flu. Now it is possible that you could get the flu even though you get the vaccine, like I mentioned before you have a reduced risk of suffering severe complications.”

Cooke also says with wearing mask and social distancing, officials are hoping for a mild flu season.

For more information about getting a flu shot, click here.

Categories: Local News, News, Seen On 7