Low flu vaccination rates in Wisconsin concerning to doctors

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 10:14 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - In the wake of high numbers of hospitalizations and office visits for respiratory viruses seen throughout the country, particularly in pediatric care centers, Children’s Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin are concerned about lower rates of flu vaccination as we approach the holidays.

As it stands now, only 30% of Wisconsinites have received their flu vaccinations. In comparison, last year’s number at this point was 33%, down from 39% in 2020.

Flu cases are currently minimal, but they are rising. Additional concerns stem from increased cases of RSV and COVID-19.

“All physicians throughout the country are nervous going into flu season right now,” says Dave Margolis, M.D., pediatric cancer doctor from Children’s Wisconsin.

Karen MacKinnon, BPharm, RPh, from the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy, says, “The best gift you can give your loved ones is to protect them while helping yourself get vaccinated.”

The CDC reports that seasonal influenza activity is high and continues to increase across the county. In 2022, there were 14 pediatric deaths caused by the flu, including two this flu season.