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Protecting Yourself with a Flu Vaccine is More Important Than Ever This Year

Hospital news | Monday, January 4, 2021

Prairie du Chien, WI and Fennimore, WI - As communities continue to combat the COVID-19 virus, public health officials continue to stress that getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever this year, and is still available to those who have not been vaccinated.

“When we protect people from the flu by getting vaccinated, we help keep them from being hospitalized, which helps our healthcare workers who are caring for people with COVID and other health needs– a win-win-win,” said Kenneth Valyo, Doctor of Osteopathic Family Medicine at Crossing Rivers Health Clinic. “By getting the flu vaccine, you protect yourself and help your community too.”

In Wisconsin’s 2019-2020 flu season, there were 36,175 flu cases reported, 4,425 flu-related hospitalizations, and tragically, 183 deaths, including three children, and the highest number of pregnant people hospitalized for flu. While these statistics are alarming, a combination of flu and COVID-19 cases could result in even more severe illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths this year, and put additional strain on Wisconsin’s health care providers working to care for patients.

It is important to protect yourself and your family before the flu starts to spread in your community. Since it takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to protect you against the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recommend that everybody age six months and older get a flu vaccine. The flu makes everyone feel bad but, according to Matthew Snitker, Family Nurse Practitioner at Crossing Rivers Health Clinic, the flu can make kids even sicker than adults. “Children have the chance to become more ill from the flu than healthy adults due to their airways being smaller and being more susceptible to dehydration. Hence, the importance of having children receive the flu vaccine along with parents to help protect them from exposing their little ones.”

Those with or without health insurance who have not yet been vaccinated can call the Crossing Rivers Health Clinic at 608.357.2500 to schedule an appointment to receive the flu vaccine.