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National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 6-12; Get Your Shot

Community news | Monday, December 7, 2020

It's not too late to get your flu shot at RiverView Health! Being immunized against influenza is more important than ever this year to keep people healthy and not overwhelm our health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dec. 6-12 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. Anyone six months and older should have a flu vaccine. Vaccination is crucial for protecting people at high risk of serious flu complications, including:

  • young children
  • pregnant women
  • adults 65 years and older
  • anyone with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.

Currently, the most common strain of influenza in Minnesota is Influenza B, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). While the latest weekly report indicates there have only been 12 reported cases of hospitalization in the state, flu activity is expected to increase in the coming months.

Over 4,000 people were hospitalized with confirmed influenza in 2019, according to MDH. Influenza-associated deaths accounted for the loss of 200 Minnesotans in 2019, including three pediatric patients.
While the flu shot will not prevent you from getting COVID-19, it may prevent you from being hit by both illnesses at once. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is possible to get influenza and COVID-19 at the same time.

"Both influenza and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses that can make people very sick," shared Angie Salentiny, RiverView Infection Prevention/Employee Health coordinator. "That's why it's important to take steps to prevent both diseases. The flu vaccine can help protect you from getting the flu and prevent you from passing it to people who could get very sick from flu, such as older family and friends or people with underlying medical conditions.

"Get vaccinated to protect yourself from the flu. Cover your cough, wash your hands, stay home when you are sick, clean frequently touched surfaces, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet from others to prevent the spread of flu and COVID-19."

To schedule your flu shot, call 281.9595.