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Feature

Cartoon image of a person getting a flu shot.

Flu vaccine available

Faculty and staff can take advantage of vaccine released last week

By Gayla Marty

From Brief, December 22, 2004; updated January 10, 2005

With flu season just beginning in Minnesota, it's not too late to get a flu shot--and vaccine is now available. About 60,000 doses of flu vaccine were released by the Minnesota Department of Health December 17 and made their way to clinics.

At the Twin Cities campus, nearly 400 doses were administered at Boynton Health Service during walk-in clinics.

Twin Cities
Walk-in clinic

Wednesday, Dec. 22
2-4 p.m.
Boynton Health Service
410 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis

Morris
Contact your primary care provider.
Or: Walk-in clinic
Tuesday, Dec. 28
Noon-3 p.m.
Stevens County Department of Public Health
621 Pacific Avenue
Morris
320-589-7425

Crookston
Contact your primary care provider.
Or: Walk-in clinics
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
Dec. 28-Jan. 13
3-4 p.m.
Polk County Department of Public Health
721 S. Minnesota Street
Crookston
218-281-3385

Duluth
Contact the St. Mary's Duluth Clinic (SMDC) Department of Internal Medicine
218-786-3338

"At this point, anybody who wants a flu shot can get one," says Boynton's Dave Golden, "and that's true statewide. Supplies are looking good."

If you can't get to one of the walk-in clinics, chances are very good you can get a flu shot from your regular health care provider, Golden adds.

"The last thing we want is to waste vaccine," according to Minnesota health commissioner Dianne Mandernach. Unused vaccine will expire and be destroyed.

At the Duluth campus, all vaccine has been used and the Health Services office is referring requests to St. Mary's Duluth Clinic (SMDC). In Morris and Crookston, U employees should first contact their primary care providers. Other sources of flu vaccine are the county public health offices, which scheduled walk-in clinics: December 28 in Morris, with shots for anyone older than 6 months; in Crookston, three days a week, December 28 through January 13. See box, left.

The University's Rochester center was able to get enough doses to vaccinate its faculty, staff, and nursing students, according to program coordinator Linda Herrick. During the vaccine shortage, nursing program staff taught about prevention. Nine senior nursing students participated in a one-credit class, Immunization Experience, and helped run the clinic for other nursing students and staff.

The MinuteClinic in Coffman Union, Twin Cities campus, does not have flu vaccine, but it can diagnose and treat flu.

Flu season in Minnesota usually peaks in February but may not peak until March or April.

More information is available on the Minnesota Department of Health Web site at http://www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/flu121704.html.

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