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Flu Prevention

Lea esta información en español (read this information in Spanish).

Six adults showing arm with band aid. #LetsTalkFlu

Don't let the flu stop you.

Get your flu vaccine today!

Visit to find a vaccinator near you.


 Personal protection

The best way to protect yourself and those you love from getting sick from the flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine.

Other steps like washing your hands, avoiding others when sick, and covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze and cough can slow the spread of the flu.

See below for actions you can take to protect yourself and others from the flu.

Parents and baby, #LETSTALKFLU

Why should I get the flu vaccine?

An adult holding a baby with and older adult's arm on their shoulder

The best way to protect yourself and the people around you from the flu is to get the flu vaccine every year in the fall.

Even if you typically don't get sick, getting vaccinated will stop you from spreading it to others at higher risk of getting hospitalized or dying from the flu.

Please help us keep you and your families healthy.

Make sure that everyone who is older than 6 months gets their flu vaccine.

This year, COVID-19, RSV, and other respiratory illnesses are spreading as well as the flu. Get the best protection against COVID-19 and the flu by getting your COVID-19 vaccine boosters and yearly flu vaccine. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Where can I get the flu vaccine?

You can call your doctor, pharmacy, or check out your local or tribal health department’s website to find a flu vaccinator near you.

Adult with child on shoulders showing muscles
Wisconsinites’ high demand for flu vaccine in some places may mean that some vaccinators run out of vaccine supply before their next shipment arrives.

To make sure your vaccinator has vaccine available, please call ahead.

  • There may also be more than one location in your area that has vaccine available.
  • If you have health insurance, it is best to call your insurance company to ask where you can get your flu vaccine and verify any costs.
  • Children who aren't covered under health insurance can get free vaccines through the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC). Find a VFC provider in your city and call ahead to make a flu vaccine appointment for your child.

Across our state, Wisconsin communities are working hard to make it easy for you to protect yourself and other from the flu. Find a flu vaccinator near you.

When is the best time to get the flu vaccine?

Flu shot note on calendar, yellow highlighter circling date

Since it takes about two weeks after getting the vaccine for your body to build up defenses against flu infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recommend that everybody age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine in the fall or early winter.

It is best to protect yourself and the people around you before the flu starts to spread in your community.

But if you aren’t able to get your vaccine by the fall, please still get vaccinated because the vaccine can protect you for the rest of the winter and spring.

Remember that you can get the flu vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, whether it’s your first or second dose, or a booster.

What are the different types of vaccines?

Flu vaccines protect against the four viruses that research suggests will be most common in that particular flu season.

A younger adult with arm around an older adult who is showing vaccinated arm
This season, all flu vaccines are quadrivalent, meaning they protect against four different viruses (including two influenza A viruses and two B viruses). There are three flu vaccines that are now preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older. If none of the three flu vaccines recommended for people 65 years and older is available, people in this age group should get any other age-appropriate flu vaccine instead. Please take advantage of the available flu vaccine, rather than staying unprotected against the flu while waiting for a specific vaccine. Egg-free (quadrivalent recombinant and cell-based vaccines) and needle-free options (FluMist nasal spray) are available as well. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist about which vaccine is the best choice for you.

View the pediatric and adult influenza vaccine product and dosing list for more information about available vaccines. Please note, some of the products listed may not be available through the Wisconsin Vaccines for Children program. Have a question? Let us know.

Who is at higher risk of having serious complications due to the flu?

Close up of a toddler giving an adult a kiss
  • Young children
  • People who are pregnant
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People with chronic health conditions, such as asthma or heart disease

Although it is especially important that people in these groups get vaccinated to decrease their risk of severe flu illness, it is very important that healthy people ages 5 to 64 years old get vaccinated too, since they are most likely to spread influenza and can still get complications from flu.

Children under the age of 6 months are too young to be vaccinated, but are at a high risk of serious flu illness. It is important that people who live with or care for infants, as well as anyone who is at a higher risk of flu complications, get the flu vaccine every year to prevent spreading the flu to them.

If you do become sick with the flu, there are steps you can take to make sure you don't spread your illness to others:
Adult drinking a cup covered with blanket and a crumpled tissue on lap, holding a thermometer
  • If possible, stay home when you are sick, and only go out for medical care or for other necessities. CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without using fever-reducing medicine.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

Antiviral drugs may be prescribed by your doctor if you have the flu. Many people do not need antivirals to recover from the flu, but they can be used to make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also help to prevent serious flu complications, such as pneumonia.

Antiviral drugs are not antibiotics. Antivirals work best when they are started within two days of getting sick. Starting antivirals later than this can still be helpful, especially if you are at a high risk of developing severe flu illness, or are very sick from the flu.


Questions about the flu? Contact us!
Phone: 608-267-9003 | Fax: 608-261-4976

Last revised June 5, 2023