State health departments are ready for the upcoming flu season, with a record 100 million doses of vaccine. After getting an update from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), State Immunization Coordinator Dan Hopfensperger says more influenza vaccine will be made available this season than in past years. “A hundred million doses of influenza vaccine will be produced, and of that, 75-million will be made available by the end of October with the remaining coming throughout November and then possibly into early December.” He adds, an additional 17-million doses are being developed by a Canadian manufacturer that is currently going through FDA licensure.

Hopfensperger says flu season in Wisconsin doesn't usually start until later in the year, with the peak in February, March or even April, but he says it's not too early to get vaccinated. If you've got flu-like symptoms — or other respiratory diseases — don't be a tough guy. Stay home! Hopfensperger suggests preventive measures, including a flu shot, sufficient food and rest, and… “An individual should cover their mouth when they're coughing. They should do good hand-washing — on a regular basis. And that shouldn't be just for the influenza season, that should be a common practice.”

Hopfensperger says the strains of the influenza and the corresponding vaccine change every year, that's why he recommends getting vaccinated every year.

Flu is unpredictable, so it's hard to say whether it'll be a tough year, or when it'll start. Just as it's not too early to get vaccinated, Hopfensperger says it's not too late to get your shot as late as January.
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