(MINOT, ND)—Trinity Health is offering flu shots at several of its Minot locations on a walk-in basis and by appointment. The vaccine is also available at Trinity’s rural health clinics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the yearly flu vaccine as the most important step one can take to protect against the flu.
Casmiar Nwaigwe, MD, Trinity’s infectious disease specialist, says while last year’s flu season was a rough one with high levels of outpatient visits and hospitalizations, it’s impossible to predict how severe the upcoming season will be. “It’s anybody’s guess,” he said. “The timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one season to another. The best thing you can do is get a flu shot to protect yourself and the people around you who might be more vulnerable to serious flu illness.”
This year’s influenza vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. However, Dr. Nwaigwe says regardless of how well-matched they are, a flu shot is still worthwhile. “It’s always a bit of a guessing game, and you’re never going to achieve a 100% match. But even when the match isn’t perfect, it still offers protection,” he said.
Dr. Nwaigwe recommends getting a flu shot as soon as vaccine is available. “It takes about two-weeks to reach maximum protection so rather than play catchup I would get a flu shot early and not wait until there is high flu activity,” he said.
Trinity Health is offering three walk-in sites in Minot for adult vaccination. Children are advised to make an appointment with their physician. Adults also may schedule an appointment with their provider’s office to receive a flu shot. Cost is $52, which is payable at the time of service. Medicare patients are asked to bring their Medicare card with them.
Walk-In Sites for Adult Flu Shots: FirstCare at Health Center – Medical Arts, M-F, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Trinity Health South Ridge, M-Th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to noon; Health Center – Town & Country, Suite 104, M-F, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.