Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Press Release

Don’t Let the Flu Stop You This Holiday Season

DHS urges Wisconsinites to get their flu vaccine ahead of celebrations and to encourage friends and family to do the same

By - Nov 11th, 2021 03:01 pm

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) continues to encourage Wisconsinites to get a flu vaccine to help them stay healthy while visiting family and friends this holiday season. The flu vaccine is the best tool to protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming ill with the flu. Getting your flu vaccine at least two weeks before a gathering gives your body time to build the immunity it needs to fight infection.

“This year, it is critical to make sure you and your family are protected,” said Dr. Jasmine Zapata, Chief Medical Officer in the DHS Bureau of Community Health Promotion. “Research shows that getting your flu vaccine can reduce rates of hospitalizations, prevent illness and missed work, and save lives – including for children.”

The flu vaccine is safe and effective, and is recommended for people ages six months and older. Flu vaccination is especially important for people who are younger than 5 years old, over the age of 65, pregnant, or have a chronic health condition. But it is also important for others to get the flu vaccine to protect themselves, avoid spreading the flu to more vulnerable family members and friends.

You can get your flu vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines work just as well and are just as safe if you get them alone or with other vaccines. You can find flu and COVID-19 vaccine locations by visiting vaccines.gov(link is external) or calling 211.

“I really trust the flu vaccine and Wisconsinites should too,” said Tom Haupt, State Influenza Surveillance Coordinator and DHS  Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist. “Getting vaccinated can mean the difference between staying healthy all winter or missing out on the things you love to do because of flu.”

In addition to getting a flu vaccine, other things you can do to prevent the flu include washing your hands regularly, cleaning surfaces, and taking good care of your body. This also includes getting good sleep, drinking plenty of water, managing stress, and exercising regularly.

DHS is continuing its “Be an InFLUencer” campaign this year to encourage people to talk to their family friends, and about the importance of the flu vaccine to protect themselves and people around them from serious illness. While that is important information for every Wisconsinite, the campaign is focusing efforts this year on getting more people of color, native Wisconsinites, and rural residents vaccinated. These populations have historically experienced higher rates of severe influenza illness due to structural inequities that prevent them from living their best lives; these barriers include lack of access to health care services, higher risk of exposure due to environment, and higher rates of underlying health condition.

The holiday season is rapidly approaching. We’ll soon be spending more time with our families and loved ones. Don’t let the flu stop you. Get your vaccine today.

Visit the DHS Flu Prevention webpage for information on flu vaccines and other steps you can take to prevent flu. You can also follow @DHSWI on Facebook(link is external)Twitter(link is external), or dhs.wi on Instagram(link is external) for more information on the influenza vaccine.

Tom Haupt will be joining the media briefing on Friday, November 12, 2021, to answer questions from reporters about flu prevention and the flu vaccine. Details to follow.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by Wisconsin Department of Health Services

First Case of the Omicron Variant Identified in Wisconsin

Governor Evers, DHS urge vaccination and continued public health practices to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant

DHS Provides Update on Omicron Variant

No cases among Wisconsin residents have been identified at this time but investigation is ongoing

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us