As the holidays approach, state health officials are urging the public to get a flu shot before they head out to parties and family gatherings.
Getting a shot or a dose of the nasal mist version can help ensure none of the gifts you give or receive this year include the virus. It takes about a week for the vaccine to be effective, which h Wisconsin Immunization Program Director Dan Hopfensperger says says means “we still have plenty of time to get a flu shot before Christmas, to make sure people stay protected against influenza as we go into the holiday season.”
The flu season got off to an early start this year, with almost 200 hospitalizations already reported. There have been concerns that the one of the strains used in the vaccine this year is not a perfect match, although Hopfensperger contends having some level of protection is still better than none at all.
In addition to getting vaccinated, Hopfensperger says you should make sure to wash your hands frequently during holiday gatherings and, if you’re already sick, stay home to avoid spreading the illness to others.