Minnesota has the 10th best flu vaccination rate. Vaccine is plentiful. Make plans now to get yours.
MINNEAPOLIS — Washing your hands frequently. Covering your cough. Staying home from work or school when sick. Wearing face coverings when in crowded areas.
Public health experts say the measures put in place during the pandemic helped to keep the flu at bay during the past couple years. But as people are relaxing those efforts it’s allowing influenza to rebound.
Data from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shows 182 Minnesotans died and 3,364 people were hospitalized during the 2022-23 flu season. That was a sizeable increase from the 2021-22 season when 71 people died and just 905 were hospitalized. However, last season was on par with levels recorded in the pre-pandemic times (2019-20 data.)
Influenza is a year-round illness, but in Minnesota flu cases are concentrated between October and April — a time typically referred to as ‘flu season’. The MDH says thousands of Minnesotans are hospitalized during a typical flu season.
Time to get your annual flu shot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says September and October are the ideal months for getting your annual flu shot, but vaccinations are recommended throughout the fall and early winter timeframe.
According to KFF, an independent health research organization, Minnesota has the 10th best flu vaccination rate in the country. KFF says Minnesota’s rate is 57.7% — well ahead of the national average of 51.4%.
Flu shots are offered by most hospitals and clinics. Neighborhood pharmacies are a common place to get vaccinated. Use this link to find a flu shot provider near you. Simply enter your zip code and select the type of vaccine you’d like.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says there are four types of influenza viruses, types A, B, C, and D. Types A and B are responsible for seasonal flu. The viruses change as they circulate the globe. New vaccines are formulated each year to protect people from the current dominant strains. Click here to find out which strains are covered by this year’s vaccine.
The U.S. flu vaccine supply should be plentiful this season. The CDC expects at least 156.2 million doses of flu vaccine will be available.
The decision to get a flu shot is a personal choice. The Minnesota Department of Health has a list of Frequently Asked Questions on influenza, the vaccine, and who should get vaccinated. The CDC provides information on common vaccine misconceptions. The National Library of Medicine provides information about religious exceptions.
This information is provided by Health Fair 11 as part of its Know Your Numbers Campaign. Health Fair 11 is a not-for-profit organization that operates with financial support from sponsorships and grants. KARE 11 TV is its media partner.
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