Flu Immunization Clinic Available for Those Without Health Insurance

A free flu vaccine clinic in Pine Island was open to the public -- serving hundreds of staff, students and residents.

Posted: Nov. 7, 2018 10:45 PM

Flu immunizations are more vital than ever -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 80,000 people died of the flu last winter which is the highest number in 40 years.

Goodhue County Health and Human Services and Pine Island School District are lowering that number by organizing a Flu Vaccination clinic for anyone 6 months or older. Anyone with or without health insurance were welcome to visit Pine Island Middle and High School.

Hundreds of students, staff and residents turned out to get their vaccinations including Brynn Fernholz, an 8-year-old student at Pine Island Elementary School.

"I want to stay healthy," Fernholz said.

Vicki Iocco, a Public Health Nurse for Goodhue County Health and Human Services insists getting vaccinated ensures the safety and health of the community.

"Influenza is the eighth cause of death in the United States," Iocco said. "Influenza and pneumonia. We see an epidemic every year of influenza."

The convenience of the clinic drives more people to get immunized.

"20 percent of the people that we surveyed were not sure they would get vaccinated had it not been offered at the school or at a convenient location," Iocco said.

There is more of a need to get immunized in Goodhue County.

"Unfortunately, we only see around 30 percent of people getting vaccinated," Iocco said. "If that were higher, we could probably see less influenza during flu season."

Getting a flu vaccination is essential to preventing sickness -- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the flu immunization reduces the risk by 40 to 60 percent. 

After all, more immunizations mean more healthy and happy children like Brynn.

"I like how I'm not gonna get sick just because I don't want to miss school."

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