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MCHC announces flu shot clinics in Madelia, Lake Crystal

MADELIA — The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be on everyone’s mind this fall, but it is also important to protect yourself from the seasonal flu by getting your annual flu shot. This year, we are encouraging people to get their flu shot sooner, rather than later. You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu.

Flu vaccinations are now available at the Madelia Community Hospital & Clinic (MCHC) in Madelia and Lake Crystal, and we are planning several Flu Shot Clinic times at both locations. In Madelia, we will be offering Drive Thru Flu Shots for two of the three dates, so patients don’t even have to leave their vehicles. Simply drive up to the Drew Avenue entrance and watch for signs. If you can, please fill out our registration forms before you come. Registration forms and vaccine information sheets for the flu shot clinics can be downloaded at www.mchospital.org/flu.

Flu shots clinic times, no appointment necessary. Please wear a mask.

MADELIA CLINIC, 121 Drew Ave. S.E.

Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 7 to 11 a.m., drive thru only

Monday, Sept. 28, from 4 to 7 p.m., drive thru only

Thursday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the clinic

LAKE CRYSTAL CLINIC – 221 S. Murphy St.

Friday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the clinic

Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 7 to 11 a.m., in the clinic

LAKE CRYSTAL PHARMACY, 210 S. Main St.

Patients can receive flu shots from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointment is needed.

If these times don’t work out for you or your family members, you can just schedule a vaccination only appointment at either of our clinic locations. The flu shot can also be given during a regular clinic visit.

Getting a flu shot prevents you from passing the virus to people in high-risk populations like babies, pregnant women, elderly people, and people who have chronic diseases. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated every flu season. Preventing flu is always important, but in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important to do everything possible to reduce illnesses and preserve scarce health care resources.

Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses caused by viruses that can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The signs and symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are very similar. Seasonal flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms of COVID-19 include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Your best source of information on the spread of the flu and COVID-19 are the websites of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and/or the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

What can you do to protect yourself and others from the flu and COVID-19?

Get vaccinated for the flu. There is not currently a vaccine for COVID-19.

Stay at least six feet from other people if you are in public places.

Wear a face mask indoors, and whenever social distancing is not possible outdoors.

Stay at home as much as possible.

Avoid exposure to others who are sick with a flu-like illness.

If you are not feeling well, stay home. If your children are ill, keep them home.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve.

Wash your hands often, with soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds.

Always wash your hands after being in a public place. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

Always wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Take special care to protect infants. Try not to expose them to large crowds when flu is in your community, and avoid close contact between the baby and family members who may be sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as germs spread this way.

Do not share drinking cups and straws.

Clean commonly touched surfaces often (door knobs, refrigerator handles, light switches, phones, water faucets).

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