City officials kick off flu shot season

MILWAUKEE, WI - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Health Commissioner Bevan Baker rolled up their sleeves Thursday to begin a campaign to fight the flu. 

“It’s Halloween time and there’s a lot of things to be scared about," Barrett said.

"Getting a flu shot is not one of them," he also said. 

That’s why dozens of people gathered at the Neighborhood House of Milwaukee Friday. They too rolled up their sleeves, got the vaccine, and in some instances even faced their fears. 

“It’s one thing that we need to be particularly clear about, [the flu] can be very serious, and it can also kill," Baker said. 

“If you get the flu vaccine early before flu activity gets to its peak, you can protect yourself and all those around you," he also said. 

Last year in the city of Milwaukee alone there were more than 400 people hospitalized with influenza. This year there have already been 19 hospitalizations statewide, two of them in Milwaukee making flu activity and flu-associated hospitalizations higher than the norm for this time of year.  

“It’s a lot of reason why we should [get the vaccine]," Baker said. 

"I can’t think of why we shouldn’t," he also said.

The vaccines administered Friday contained four strands of the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 166 million doses of the vaccine available to the public. 

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