"You want to get it now:" Health officials urge you to get a flu shot

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's easy to make excuses not to get a flu shot, but Milwaukee Health Department Medical Director Geoffrey Swain says now is the time to get one.

"It takes a week or two for a flu vaccine to build up full effect in your body. So you want to get it now so that you're protected for the flu season," said Swain.

The flu season peaks between November and March.

Since October 1st,  20 people in Wisconsin have been hospitalized due to influenza and 2 of those people were in Milwaukee.

"20 is a little bit more than we normally see but it's not enough to say that this is going to be a particularly early flu season or a particularly bad one," said Swain.

Those most at risk for contracting or having complications from the flu are the elderly, those with chronic respiratory problems, and children.

"Especially children under 6 months they're too young to get vaccinated. This is another reason why it's so important to vaccinated because not only do you protect yourself, you protect the people around you," said Swain.

Influenza is a respiratory illness that should be taken seriously. Its symptoms include high fever, severe cough, and muscle aches.

"The CDC estimates that nationwide every year about 10 - 36,000 die from influenza or its complications," said Swain.

Health officials say these outcomes can be prevented by simply getting vaccinated.

To find a flu shot clinic near you CLICK HERE and enter your zip code in the flu vaccine finder on the right hand side of the screen.

The Milwaukee Health Department is hosting a flu shot clinic on Thursday, October 30th from 3pm - 6pm. It's at the Northwest Health Center on 7600 West Mill Road. It's free to all kids 18 and younger regardless of insurance status.

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