On Tuesday, October 25, Mayor Tom Barrett and Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker rolled up their sleeves at Neighborhood House of Milwaukee to get their seasonal flu vaccinations and share a message that your best shot at preventing the flu is to get the flu shot.
“Flu season is just around the corner,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “To protect yourself, your family and those around you, I urge everyone over 6 months of age to get vaccinated now before the flu arrives. Even healthy people can get the flu and spread it to others.”
Influenza (the flu) is among the most common respiratory illnesses in the United States, infecting millions of people each year. The virus is spread through the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, and fatigue.
Though common, the flu can be serious, resulting in approximately 200,000 hospitalizations and thousands of deaths each year. Those most vulnerable to serious complications include infants and young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses.
“Flu season is unpredictable,” said Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker. “Every year different strains of the influenza virus can spread, but flu vaccines are made each year to protect against the strains that may be most common. That is why the single best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated each year.”
The vaccine is recommended for all individuals over 6 months of age, especially those at greatest risk for serious complications including adults 65 and older, children younger than 5, and pregnant women, and those who are in contact with those at greatest risk.
“Even if you think that you are healthy and can beat the flu, you may spread it to someone else who is more vulnerable,” added Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker. “By getting your own flu shot, you are giving residents of our community a better shot at staying healthy all season long.”
This year’s flu vaccine protects against four strains of influenza virus. The vaccine can not only help to prevent you from getting sick, but can make your illness milder if you do get sick and help prevent you from spreading the flu to others.
Flu vaccines are widely available through local health care providers and retail pharmacies. To find a location closest to you, use the flu vaccine finder at Milwaukee.gov/health.