The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) encourages everyone six months and older to get vaccinated against influenza (flu) this fall. Getting your flu vaccine is the best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death caused by the virus. You can get the flu vaccine alone or at the same time as other vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, whether it’s your first or second dose, or a booster.
“While the timing of peak flu cases is difficult to predict, it typically circulates in the fall and winter months. That’s why we recommend getting your yearly flu vaccine in the fall, before flu cases begin to increase,” said Tom Haupt, DHS Influenza Surveillance Coordinator. “Getting your flu vaccine, staying home when you are sick, and hand washing are all important things we can do to stop respiratory illnesses like influenza from spreading.”
Since it takes about two weeks for your body to build up protection after getting the vaccine , DHS recommends everyone get their yearly flu vaccine now to be fully protected as flu season ramps up. Getting a flu vaccine is especially important for people at higher risk for serious complications, including:
- Pregnant people
- Young children
- People 65 years and older, especially those living in group settings
- People with certain medical conditions, such as asthma or heart disease
“We encourage all Wisconsinites to stay up to date with their vaccinations, especially their yearly flu vaccine this time of the year,” said Paula Tran, State Health Officer. “Head into the fall knowing you’ve done everything you can to protect yourself and the people you care about.”
While flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, they are caused by two different viruses and require two different vaccines. Everyone six months and older can stay up-to-date with their yearly flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. Both vaccines are safe, effective and available now. Getting vaccinated protects you, as well as those around you.
Find where the flu vaccine is available near you at Vaccines.gov(link is external) and learn more ways to fight flu on the DHS webpage. 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 influenza and updates from “The Flu Guy,” Tom Haupt.