MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It may feel too early in the season to be talking about the flu, but health clinics across the metro are already offering vaccinations.
Health officials are expecting cases of the flu will show up earlier this fall, and they’re urging people to get their vaccines now.
Lisa Spatz of South Minneapolis has already lined up appointments to get her two daughters in to get their shots.
“Every year we believe in getting the shot. I’ve gotten flu shots the last 25 years because I work in the medical field,” Spatz said.
At the Fairview Clinic in Prior Lake, Physician Assistant Michele Whaylen says they’ve been giving vaccinations for a couple of weeks now.
“I think since the H1N1 hit a couple years ago, it’s much more on the radar. People realized actually how sick you can get and that it can be actually a very serious – and maybe for a small percentage of people – life threatening illness,” Whaylen said.
This year there’s more to choose from. Michele says the vaccination comes with a faster, less painful stick than a regular shot.
“The new one now is the intradermal,” she said. “That’s a new option for the people who are a little needle phobic.”
People ages 18 to 64 can get it. Michele says getting vaccinated helps minimize the risk for everyone, but some, like Stephanie Dosser, aren’t sold on it.
“I’m not planning on getting it. So, if we happen to be at the doctor and they’re going it, maybe. But I don’t know. I’m kind of the more of the…let nature take its course,” Dosser said.
But Lisa Spatz won’t go without it.
“It works great, but it’s as much for the “everybody else” as it is for our family,” she said.
Health officials say the seasonal flu vaccine is not designed to protect against the new swine flu, H3N2.
They also say it can take up to two weeks for the flu shot to be effective.