Since Oct. 4, Winona Health has administered about 5,000 doses of the flu vaccine — an average of about 245 vaccines per day — to help prevent spread of the disease this year.
“Things are running smoothly,” Jill Ender, director of pharmacy at Winona Health, shared along with the organization’s running vaccination total.
Ender said that people across the age spectrum have received their flu shots, including parents coming in with their children.
“There have been a few brief tears, but our nurses and pharmacists do a wonderful job with children and there have been a lot of smiles, too,” she said.
For people who have anxiety about getting a shot, Winona Health does have devices called ShotBlockers to help reduce the normal sensation and possible pain of receiving a shot, resulting in lowered anxiety, too.
She also shared that in the past week there has even been an increase in vaccinations due to people being interested in getting their flu shot and their Moderna boosters at the same time — which is completely safe to do, she said.
“It is possible to get both vaccines at the same time on the same day, although we have been hearing reports of patients having increased risk of fever, aches, chills and other signs as the immune system does its job in learning what the viruses look like and preparing to fight them. If you get both on the same day, it is best to get them in separate arms,” Ender said.
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“We have seen many people choose to receive one and then come back a day or two later and get the other vaccine and that’s okay, too,” she said.
Compared to this time last year, Ender said that Winona Health is slightly behind with its flu vaccine administrations, but she said that may be due to the federal government having pushed more last year for people to receive their shots.
“Like last year, it is extremely important to get your flu shot to prevent hospitalizations due to influenza. We need to care for people who have scheduled procedures as well as COVID cases and other emergencies,” Ender explained.
During last year’s flu season, community residents experienced no diagnosed flu cases, Winona Health CEO/president of Winona Health Rachelle Schultz shared in August at a city council meeting.
To help continue the prevention of flu within the Winona community, flu vaccines — along with COVID-19 vaccines — can be received at Winona Health’s Parkview Office Building from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The flu vaccine, but not the COVID-19 vaccine, can also be received at Winona Health’s Main Street Clinic from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The flu vaccines offered at Winona Health are free.
For more information about receiving a flu vaccine, visit winonahealth.org.