Jeramey Jannene

Be Patriotic, Get Your Flu Shot

Mayor and Health Commissioner get their immunization, encourage others to do the same.

By - Sep 17th, 2020 01:33 pm
Mayor Tom Barrett and Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik get flu photos. Photos by Jeramey Jannene.

Mayor Tom Barrett and Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik get flu photos. Photos by Jeramey Jannene.

The United States will soon have another challenge to deal with in its fight against COVID-19, the seasonal flu.

Flu vaccination shots, which offer protection against up to four common strains of the virus, are now available or scheduled to be available at many clinics across the country. Mayor Tom Barrett is encouraging Milwaukeeans to get the vaccine, and said Thursday morning its patriotic to do so and supports the country’s “war” against not only the flu, but COVID-19.

“This year it has a very, very, much-added importance,” Barrett said, noting it was possible to contract both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Both viruses attack the lungs. “We want to make sure we are doing anything we can to keep people out of the hospital.”

“Being vaccinated protects you, protects the people you love, protects the people you come in contact with,” the mayor said, speaking at Neighhood House of Milwaukee, 2819 W. Richardson Pl., moments before getting his own flu shot.

He called on his “general,” Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik, to provide further guidance on the vaccine’s importance.

“As a public health professional, a mom and someone with multiple chronic illnesses, I want to stress the importance of getting the vaccine,” Kowalik said. “We want to again stress prevention as our best measure.”

Kowalik, who previously served as the immunization manager for the health department, said the vaccine coupled with mask usage could save lives by reducing the spread of both the flu and coronavirus. “I definitely would recommend getting a vaccine and wearing a mask,” she said.

She encouraged people not to wait to get the flu shot.

The event served as a capstone for Kowalik’s time as health commissioner. She’s resigning on September 22nd to take a policy position with a public health organization in Washington D.C. Her first press conference as commissioner centered on encouraging people to get a flu shot, same as her last.

“Often time when someone gets a new job or promotion, they do shots together,” said Barrett with a laugh. The two both got flu shots on camera after speaking.

A number of health care providers have begun offering the shot, and individuals are encouraged to contact theirs for more information. Organizations, including Neighborhood House, also are offering the immunization. Kowalik said the Milwaukee Health Department would begin offering the immunization for free at its clinics on October 5th. Additional details will be posted on the health department website or are available by calling 414-286-8034.

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Categories: Health

One thought on “Be Patriotic, Get Your Flu Shot”

  1. Thomas Martinsen says:

    “I got mine.”

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