Flu season is coming and getting vaccinated is more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.

Minnesota influenza outbreaks typically occur between December through April. Antibodies develop about two weeks after getting the vaccine, but drop in the elderly and those with immuno-compromising diseases.

Riverwood Healthcare Center will offer flu clinics for the public by appointment at all three of its locations at these times:

• Aitkin/Riverwood Pharmacy at Paulbeck’s County Market: Sept. 29, Oct. 1, 6 and 8, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.

• Garrison Clinic: Oct. 6 and 13, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.

• McGregor Clinic Screening & Testing Center (across the street from the clinic): Oct. 7, 21 and 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To make an appointment, call Riverwood’s toll-free flu line at (888) 303-4550. The flu clinics schedule is also posted at www.RiverwoodHealthcare.org When you call, have your health insurance card or information available.

“While the flu vaccine does not always protect us from getting influenza, research shows that receiving a flu vaccine each year can reduce the risk of hospitalizations, pneumonia, and death,” said Julie Goshey, infection preventionist. “At Riverwood, we are committed to keeping our community safe and we urge everyone to get flu shots, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Goshey adds: “Most people are sick with the flu for three to five days and get better on their own. Call your health care provider if you or a family member has symptoms you are concerned about, such as a very high fever.”

For more information on flu symptoms, prevention and treatment, go to the Minnesota Department of Health at www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/flu/basics/index.html.

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