'There's a lot of illness going around:' Ascension St. Joseph gives out free flu shots

MILWAUKEE -- Winter hasn't technically started yet -- and doctors say it's already a busy flu season. On Wednesday, Dec. 4 Ascension St. Joseph Hospital provided free flu shots.

Patty Allen

Patty Allen stopped in for a quick errand at St. Joe's.

"It's nothing," said Allen. "It's just a little prick, and you're done. There's a lot of illness going around in the city, and the safer you can be, the better off you can be."

Doctors took advantage of Wednesday's busy waiting area -- hoping to tell as many people as possible about the importance of getting vaccinated.

"It's actually been a pretty busy flu season," said Ron Williams VP of medical affairs. "We had early cases. In fact, had a case in June, believe it or not."

Williams said they were seeing two or three flu cases at the hospital every other day. He said while the flu shot is especially important for young children and the elderly -- everyone can help keep sickness away.

Ascension St. Joseph

Ascension St. Joseph

"Let's say you do get infected with the virus, but you've been immunized," said Williams. "Your immune system has already built up a response to that, and therefore, the chance that you will transmit it to someone else is much lower."

Dr. Ron Williams

That's why Allen went to St. Joe's. Without insurance, she had been waiting for this opportunity.

"I work in a food store, and I just want to be healthy for my customers," said Allen.

In addition to getting the flu shot, Williams said the most important thing to do this winter is regularly washing your hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a host of tips on preventing the flu, benefits of the vaccine, and more. CLICK HERE for information.