Advertisement

Michigan on track to reach flu vaccine goal with 2.4M vaccinations so far

The state has set a goal of achieving a 33 percent increase in flu vaccination this season, which means more than 1 million people over last flu season.
(WYMT)
Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 11:12 AM EST
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Nearly 2.4 million Michiganders have gotten their flu vaccine this season, putting the state more than halfway towards its goal of 4.2 million flu vaccinations, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Friday.

“It’s more important than ever that Michiganders get their flu vaccine to protect themselves and their families and help us save crucial resources for hospitals to fight the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “As we head into the winter months and the 2020-2021 flu season, I urge more Michiganders to get their flu vaccine, and make sure your kids get one too. And as always, mask up, practice safe physical distancing, and wash your hands frequently to protect yourselves, your family, and our brave frontline workers from COVID-19. We will get through this together.”

“This is great news, but we still need more Michiganders to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief deputy for health and chief medical executive. “Influenza can be deadly and getting the flu vaccine is a step we can take to protect against it. Every flu-related hospitalization we see this season will put an additional strain on our hospitals that are already dealing with a surge of COVID-19 patients.”

During the 2019-2020 flu season, the nation recorded 39 to 56 million estimated cases of the flu, 18 to 26 million medical visits due to the flu and nearly half a million hospitalizations. Despite its comparison to the common cold, the flu is a very serious and potentially deadly disease, especially for children, older people and those with chronic health conditions. Last season, 187 children died from the flu in the United States, including six children in Michigan.

The flu vaccine is available across the state and residents can find a location nearby at Michigan.gov/Flu.

As part of the statewide effort to increase the number of flu vaccines administered this season, MDHHS has partnered with several organizations, including Kroger and Meijer pharmacies. Most recently, Meijer has teamed up with the Detroit Tigers and the Lansing Lugnuts to host two free flu shot clinics. The walk-up and drive-thru events will be held Monday, Nov. 9 and Tuesday, Nov. 10 at Comerica Park in Detroit and Jackson Field in downtown Lansing. The doses are being provided by the State of Michigan and will be administered by the Meijer Pharmacy Team.

At all locations, participants must fill out paperwork and get temperatures taken before the vaccination is administered. CDC guidelines will be followed; social distancing will be in effect, hand sanitizer will be readily available, and masks will be required and provided onsite.

Last flu season, an estimated 3.2 million people in Michigan received a flu vaccine as documented in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). While reporting doses to the MCIR is strongly encouraged, it is not mandatory for adults aged 20 years and older. The state has set a goal of achieving a 33 percent increase in flu vaccination this season, which means more than 1 million people over last flu season.

The state’s I Vaccinate campaign is working to educate residents about the safety of vaccinating. In an effort to help parents protect their children from all serious vaccine-preventable diseases, I Vaccinate provides the facts parents need to make informed decisions about vaccinations.

Michiganders should contact their local health departments, physicians or pharmacies to schedule a time to get the flu shot, and to seek out credible sources like IVaccinate.org for answers to vaccine questions.

For more information about the flu, visit Michigan.gov/Flu.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.