Flu cases increasing, number of kids vaccinated dropping

The number of flu cases is increasing, and the number of kids vaccinated against it is dropping. Physicians urge the public to vaccinate before the holidays.

Physicians said it's a perfect storm as we gather with family for the holidays. Specialists remind people that the vaccine is more important than ever to protect their kids against the flu.

Physicians at Hayat Pharmacy on Milwaukee's south side feel things have been quieter than usual.

Hashim Zaibak, Hayat Pharmacy

"I think what's happening is people are just vaccine fatigued," said Hashim Zaibak from Hayat Pharmacy.

The number of people stopping in to get the flu shot is down – especially for kids. Physicians are seeing a decrease of 52% compared to this time last year.

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"Our numbers are not where they should be," said Zaibak.

Across the country, people are seeing this decrease. The CDC reports that one in three kids has gotten the flu shot this year.

Dr. Dave Margolis, Children's Wisconsin

"The amount of influenza in our community is spiking," said Dr. Dave Margolis at Children's Wisconsin.

For kids ages 3 and up, officials suggest stopping by your pharmacy. Doctors' offices are inundated with other illnesses, and physicians warn it might be hard to get an appointment. The other option is to visit a pharmacy with a nurse on staff or with a prescription.

Karen Mackinnon, MCW Pharmacy professor

"We can help you get your family vaccinated," said Karen Mackinnon, MCW Pharmacy professor.

"We will work with our colleagues to get those prescriptions needed to get people vaccinated," said Margolis.

Health care workers say a small shot can make a big difference.

"We know it's effective, and we know it's safe," said Zaibak.

The owner of Hayat Pharmacy said another thing to keep in mind is the shortage of antibiotics.

If your kids are getting sick, medicine might not be readily available.