Flu vaccine still available locally

If you want to get a flu shot, it’s not too late to get one.

Riverwood Healthcare clinics in Aitkin, Garrison and McGregor are still offering nurse appointments for flu shots. If you already have a scheduled clinic appointment, just ask for the flu shot to be given at this time. To schedule a flu shot appointment, simply call your Riverwood clinic’s appointment line or toll-free at (888) 270-1882.

Flu vaccine is also available from Aitkin County Health & Human Services. For a flu shot appointment, call (218) 927-7200.

Influenza is a contagious upper respiratory infection with symptoms that may include a fever, headache, sore throat, a dry cough, body aches and extreme fatigue. A flu shot can greatly reduce your risk of getting this disease. It takes about 2-3 weeks for your body to start building antibodies for protection against the flu after you receive the vaccine.

“As you may have heard through the media, there is a high incidence of flu this season that is rapidly spreading in our local communities and nationwide,” says Linda Chantland, infection control nurse at Riverwood. “It’s very important to get vaccinated to reduce your risk for this disease, which can cause serious health complications, especially for children, women who are pregnant, those with chronic illnesses and the elderly.”

To protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of influenza, the Minnesota Department of Health recommends:

  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school. Remain home until 24 hours after your symptoms resolve without the aid of fever-reducing medications.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean your hands frequently and thoroughly – with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub solution.
  • Clean your hands after shaking hands or having other close contact with other people – before eating or preparing food, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Make sure to drink enough fluids while you’re sick.
  • If you develop possible flu symptoms and you want to consult your healthcare provider, call before going in for an office visit. You may not need to go in, depending on your symptoms.
  • People at risk for severe flu or flu complications should contact their health care provider if they have flu symptoms or have been closely exposed to people with flu symptoms.

For more information on flu prevention and vaccination, go to the Minnesota Department of Health website at www.mdhflu.com