Wisconsin health leaders concerned about low flu vaccination rates

Flu season got off to an early -- and unfortunately strong -- start
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Children’s Wisconsin is urging that people -- especially children -- get their flu vaccine now due to the high number of office visits and hospitalizations for respiratory viruses.

“The best gift we can give this holiday season is really giving our loved ones the protection by getting vaccinated. So by protecting yourself, you protect them as well,” said Karen MacKinnon, a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy.

Children’s Wisconsin says the daily average number of influenza hospitalizations increased after the Thanksgiving holiday, with more than 300 children admitted for the flu compared to 178 this time last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only about 1 in 3 children in the U.S. received this season’s flu vaccine. Numbers are also down among pregnant women and adults.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services designates Northeast Wisconsin at a high level for flu-like illnesses.