Chippewa Falls, WI – As the flu season begins and with health care systems already strained by COVID-19, public health officials stress that getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever. …
Chippewa Falls, WI – As the flu season begins and with health care systems already strained by COVID-19, public health officials stress that getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever. By getting vaccinated against the flu, peo ple can prevent one respiratory virus from circulating at the same time as other respiratory viruses; for example, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or COVID-19.
The flu vaccine plays a significant role in avoiding serious illness, hospitalization, and death from a preventable disease. By not having to provide services to individuals with preventable illnesses, getting vaccinated also ensures that health care staff and services are readily available for emergent situations. “When we protect ourselves and others from the flu by get ting vaccinated, we reduce hospitalizations and death and keep our communities safer,” said Angela Weideman, Chippewa County Health Of- ficer/Director. "By getting the flu vaccine, you protect yourself and those you love.”
The Chippewa County Health Department has a flu vaccine clinic every Thursday from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM at the Chippewa County Courthouse in Room 121. The cost of vaccina- tion without insurance is $45.00; however, most major insurances are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid. Thursday clinics are open to the public, and residents are not required to make an appointment for vaccination.
In addition to the Health Department, many local clinics, pharmacies, and health care pro- viders offer the influenza vaccine. Importantly, people can get the flu vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, including the COVID-19 vac- cine, whether it's their first or second dose or a booster. Community members are encouraged to attend one of the Health Department's flu vaccine clinics or reach out to their healthcare provider to schedule an appointment to become vaccinated against the flu virus.
It is necessary to gain protection from the flu before it spreads throughout local commu nities, which typically happens in the late fall in Wisconsin. Since it takes about two weeks to achieve full immunity against the flu virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), and Chippewa County Depart- ment of Public Health (CCDPH) recommend that everybody age 6 months and older get a flu vac cine as early as possible.
Being vaccinated against the seasonal flu will help control the spread of the influenza virus and contribute to the health of adults and children in Chippewa County. For more information about the flu, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Flu Prevention webpage.