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Get vaccinated during National Influenza Vaccination Week

An ideal time to get vaccinated for influenza is during National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), which runs Sunday through Saturday, December 8-14, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

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MDH is participating in this national campaign by partnering with local public health agencies and other health care providers to provide Minnesotans with opportunities to get their annual influenza vaccination.

Influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months or older unless they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, according to MDH.

It is also important that those at high risk for serious complications from influenza be vaccinated. These include pregnant women, seniors, young children and those with chronic medical conditions.

Children younger than 6 months of age cannot receive influenza vaccine, so household contacts and caretakers should be vaccinated to protect the very young.

Influenza is a disease that can have serious consequences. Last season, more than 3,000 people in Minnesota were hospitalized with influenza.

The symptoms of influenza, which tend to come on suddenly, can include a sore throat, coughing, fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. People who become severely ill with influenza-like symptoms should see a physician. Influenza is caused by a virus, and antibiotics are not effective against it.

The cost of vaccinations will vary at each site. There is no cost to people with Medicare Part B and some other insurance plans, provided they bring their Medicare or other insurance cards with them.

Those seeking shots are asked to wear short sleeves, perhaps under a sweater if it’s cold, to make getting the shot easier and more comfortable.

To locate a local flu clinic, visit and select “Vaccine Clinic Look-Up.”

Influenza vaccinations also may be given at other locations and times not listed on the MDH website. Check with your physician’s office or regular walk-in clinic about getting vaccinated against the flu.