Get your shot

December 17, 2020

A flu vaccine is more important than ever

Wisconsin’s flu season may already have started, but that does not mean it is too late to get a flu vaccine. While health care professionals recommend getting an annual flu vaccine, it is critical this season in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting the vaccine is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself, the people you love, and people around you. The flu is preventable.

Every year, Community Care makes a special effort to promote vaccines to its members and their family members. The vaccine is especially important to seniors and individuals with preexisting medical conditions.

This fall, Community Care collaborated with local Walgreens to address the need for safe access to flu and other vaccinations, in the wake of COVID-19. After discussing with several of its providers, Community Care staff learned that the most common barrier to providers and members getting vaccinated this flu season was safe access to vaccines.

Community Care offered seven outdoor vaccination clinics for providers, members, and members’ families, and administered about 270 vaccines, including flu, pneumonia, and shingles.

“The outdoor clinics eliminated the need for members – and others who are highly vulnerable to negative outcomes from COVID-19 infection – to avoid doctor’s offices and other indoor clinic locations,” said Theresa Baker, Community Care’s director of quality.

For more than 40 years, Community Care has helped its members, including vulnerable seniors, live independently within the community. This includes efforts to help as many of our members as possible get important vaccines every year.

In addition to getting a flu vaccine, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting sick from the flu: avoid close contact with people who are sick, wash your hands often, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Last flu season more than half of Wisconsin residents did not get a flu vaccine. This put many people at a higher risk of getting the flu. More than 180 people died from the flu during the last flu season.

If you did not get a flu vaccine yet, Wisconsin health officials suggest you get one as soon as possible.

“Both influenza and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses, but until we have a vaccine against COVID-19, the way to help prevent these two viruses from circulating at the same time is to get your flu vaccine now,” said Andrea Palm, department of health services secretary.

At a glance

Why should I get the flu vaccine?

The flu is a serious illness that can make you extremely sick. It can lead to hospitalization, or even to death. The best way to protect yourself and others from the flu is to get the flu vaccine every year in the fall.

Who is at higher risk of having serious complications due to the flu? It is very important for people 65 and older and people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma or heart disease, to get vaccinated every year to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.

When is the best time to get the flu vaccine? Get the flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in your community. You should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated throughout the flu season can still be helpful, even into January or later.

Read More About: , , ,