MDHHS urges residents to get the flu shot sooner than later

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging Michiganders to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves and their communities from flu this season.

Getting a flu vaccine is critical because flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will likely be spreading simultaneously. Residents can get their COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as their flu vaccine. According to the CDC, those who are at higher risk for contracting flu are also at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Vaccinations for both COVID-19 and the flu are safe, effective strategies to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from illness.

“Annual flu vaccination is recommended for individuals aged 6 months and up, and we encourage you to schedule your appointment as soon as possible to receive protection this flu season,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “There is an ample supply of flu vaccine available in many convenient locations, from primary care providers to local pharmacies, and you can receive your flu shot at the same time as many other vaccines (including the COVID-19 vaccine).”

This season, CDC has adopted new recommendations for older adults. Adults aged 65 years and older are recommended to receive one of the following if available: high-dose influenza vaccine, adjuvanted influenza vaccine, or recombinant influenza vaccine, over standard-dose influenza vaccine. If none of the recommended vaccines are available, any age-appropriate vaccine should be used and the opportunity to be vaccinated should not be missed. The flu vaccine is the best way to reduce risk from the seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications. Each year flu vaccination reduces the burden of influenza significantly in the United States preventing millions of illnesses, and thousands of hospitalizations and deaths.

During the 2021-2022 flu season, approximately 3.3 million people in Michigan received a flu vaccine as reported to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). The state has set a goal of vaccinating a total of 4 million Michiganders for the 2022-2023 flu season.

During the 2019-2020 flu season, the nation recorded 8 to 13 million estimated cases of the flu, 3.7 to 6.1 million medical visits due to the flu and nearly 170,000 hospitalizations. Despite its comparison to the common cold, the flu is a serious and potentially deadly disease, especially for children, older people and people with chronic health conditions, which is why vaccination remains a critical strategy for prevention.

Flu vaccines are available now at local health departments, physician offices and pharmacies around the state. Find a location near you using the Vaccine Finder. Visit Michigan.gov/flu for more information or visit IVaccinate.org to find answers to your vaccine questions.