FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2020
Contact:
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Launches “Be an InFLUencer” Campaign

The goal is to improve flu vaccine rates in the state’s communities of color

The Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) today launched the “Be an InFLUencer” education and awareness campaign to help promote flu vaccination within Wisconsin’s communities of color.

“Historically in Wisconsin, there have been many barriers that have led to communities of color having the lowest vaccination rates in the state, and consequently, that is where we find high rates of the flu,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “As our agency focuses on improving health equity, we must actively work to address these barriers and help all of our residents know how important the flu vaccine is to protect them and their communities from serious illness.”

This campaign includes social media on several platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, as well as broadcast and digital radio ads, including ads in Spanish. It also features Dr. Kevin Izard, a physician at Paladina Health in Milwaukee.

“This campaign comes at just the right time because it’s so important for everyone in the state to get the protection the flu vaccine provides,” said Tom Haupt, DHS Influenza Surveillance Coordinator. "It is not too late to get the flu shot to protect yourself and everyone around you from serious illness.”

While the flu vaccine is safe and effective, and strongly recommended for people six months old and older, there are people who are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they get the flu. Those include:

  • Children under 6 months old
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People with chronic health conditions, such as asthma or heart disease

This flu season began while Wisconsin is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. While the flu vaccine won't protect you against COVID-19, it can protect you from the flu, protect those more at risk from flu-related complications, and keep you and your loved ones out of an already overburdened health care system.

As part of this campaign, DHS has launched a new webpage with important information and answers to common questions about the flu and the flu vaccine. The webpage also includes a link to the Vaccine Finder, so people can find where the vaccine is available near them. In addition, DHS has also created a “Be an InFLUencer” fact sheet with data and other details about preventing flu.

The “Be an InFLUencer” campaign is funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).