Flu shots in high demand to begin the season
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The summer is turning to fall, and as the season change, the demand for flu shots is on the rise in the Madison area and around Southern Wisconsin.
According to SSM Health, early season flu shot numbers have jumped. From September 1st to the 21st, the health organization reports administering roughly 2,000 flu shots, up from around 1,200 over the same span in 2019.
“I don’t think people had a great realization about how impactful vaccination can be until we got into the COVID pandemic,” said SSM Health’s regional chief medical officer Amy Franta.
She credits the rise of flu shots, in part, to better education around vaccines.
“You know, one of the things having all these conversations about vaccinations does is it increases awareness; all of these discussions really get people thinking about vaccination and the benefits,” said Franta.
SSM Health is not the only place tracking changes. Pharmacist and owner of Mount Horeb Family Pharmacy Matt McGowan says their numbers leapt forward in the past year. McGowan says last year, just 17 flu shots were administered in the first three weeks of September, a stark contrast to the 150 administered this year. He points to convenience being part of the rise in numbers.
“We’re seeing a lot of people that are getting the new COVID booster; they’re choosing just to get both at the same appointment, so it does seem like for this early in the season, we are seeing a fair amount of demand,” said McGowan.
Despite those numbers, the experts say more flu shots do not necessarily equate to fewer flu cases.
“We’ll probably see a more normal flu season this year, but it’s always difficult to tell how severe that’s going to be,” said Franta.
“I do think with everyone getting back together and having less precautions, we are going to see more and more, probably influenza,” added McGowan.
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