Preparing for the 2022-2023 flu season | Press room
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu typically contributes to 45 million illnesses, 810,000 hospitalizations and 61,000 deaths during the height of each flu season between December and February. These rates have been much lower in recent years due to preventive measures put in place to protect against COVID-19.
Health experts predict the next flu season will be particularly impactful, especially as these protective measures continue to decline. Lower levels of cold and flu activity during the pandemic mean that people have not been exposed to these illnesses as much in the past two years and our immune systems may be more susceptible.
“The first thing people can do to minimize their risk of getting the flu is to get the flu shot,” says Allyson Balthazor, a clinical pharmacist who is completing her first year of pharmacy residency at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. “The benefit of preventing the flu outweighs the many risks that people may worry about when they get the flu shot. If you have any concerns about the flu vaccine, talk to your primary care provider or pharmacist.
Aspirus strongly encourages flu vaccination for anyone 6 months and older as the best way to protect themselves and our communities. Flu shots are especially important for people at high risk for flu complications, including those who:
- are pregnant
- You are under 2 years old or 65 years old and over
- Having a chronic health condition such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes.
Allyson adds that “the best time to get a flu shot would be September and October. This helps ensure that immunity is highest during peak flu transmission.
Flu shots will be available in our communities through our primary care clinics beginning in mid-September. Offers and appointment options may differ by location. Call your local Aspirus primary care clinic for local options and to schedule an appointment. For more information or to find a primary care provider at an Aspirus center near you, visit https://www.aspirus.org/.