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Essentia Health emphasizes importance, availability of flu shots

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 128 million doses of flu vaccine have been administered in the U.S. for the current season. Essentia Health is ready to provide flu shots.

A nurse gives a flu shot to a man at a free clinic on Oct. 14, 2020, in Lakewood, Calif. Medical experts are hoping the flu shot this year will help prevent a twindemic; an epidemic of influenza paired with a second wave of COVID-19 which could lead to overwhelmed hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Mario Tama / Getty Images / TNS)

Essentia Health reminds area residents that getting a flu shot is an effective way to greatly reduce the chances of getting ill.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2019-20 flu vaccination “prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits, 105,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths.”

Many health experts, including influenza specialists, are worried the U.S. will experience a severe flu season this year. The warning stems from limited immunity against influenza after a record low number of cases in 2020-21 when masking and social distancing were prevalent.

“Vaccines, including influenza and COVID vaccines, are important tools to keep ourselves and communities safe,” stated Roseann Hines, an Essentia Health pharmacist and senior operations manager for medication use management, in a news release.

Essentia patients can receive a flu shot during previously scheduled appointments; at one of Essentia’s pharmacies or clinics offering walk-in availability; or by appointment at an Essentia clinic, which can be done via its MyChart patient portal or by calling 844-663-1068.


“It is important for us to do our part and obtain our influenza vaccine annually,” Hines stated.

For a comprehensive list of walk-in flu shot opportunities, visit https://bit.ly/31bCaL3 .

Depending upon the Essentia location visited, a person may be able to receive the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine — or other needed vaccinations — simultaneously. The CDC has determined it safe to receive both a flu and COVID vaccination at the same time.

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