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Local groups give free flu shots, tries to increase vaccination rate

Posted at 4:24 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 18:41:08-05

MILWAUKEE, WI - Last year’s flu season was the deadliest in decades, but a group of local nurses wants the numbers this year to look a lot different. They’re offering free flu shots throughout the city of Milwaukee.

The process only takes a few a minutes, and only requires showing just a little skin—to get the kind of vaccination Geraldine Goldsmith said might keep her out of the hospital especially since she doesn’t have medical benefits.

“I don’t have health insurance so I’m trying to prevent from getting the flu,” Geraldine Goldsmith said. 

That’s why Goldsmith and dozens of others made it a point to visit the Bread of Healing Clinic sponsored by United Healthcare and Optum.

“I’ve been taking it all my life. It really helps,” Goldsmith said. 

More than 7,000 people were hospitalized after getting the flu last year, and nearly 400 died in Wisconsin. Nurse practitioner, Tanya Chapman, said her goal is to change that.

“The benefit definitely outweighs the risk. We see many people out in the community who become ill from the flu,” Chapman said. 

Chapman said if more people get the flu shot it’s likely to increase general health overall. The vaccination rate was only 36 percent in Wisconsin last flu season but with a free flu shot service like this one could make all the difference.