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Minn. health department urging flu vaccinations before peak season

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The Minnesota Department of Health is urging everyone to get vaccinated before peak influenza season.

A study in November showed only about a third of children in the Twin Cities area had received flu shots. 

Officials say flu vaccination is available and many local public health agencies for little or no cost. In addition, the American Lung Association in Minnesota is holding free flu shot clinics for adults at Walgreens stores starting next week.

Cynthia Piette, health manager for group, said now is a good time to get vaccinated.

"So we do encourage everybody to get a vaccination through the end of March to protect themselves," Piette said. "Especially right before the holidays it's important, it will help protect yourself and your loved ones from getting the flu. Because not only are you at risk for the flu, but you can also pass it along to other people."

Walgreens is donating up to 5,000 flu shots for adults ages 19 and older.   Piette said the clinics will be held at various locations starting Saturday and ending Dec. 21. You can find participating locations at the association's website, or on the list below.

"If you go to the Walgreens during the listed times, there will be an American Lung Association volunteer at the front door handing out flu vouchers, and you'll take that voucher back to pharmacy and receive your free flu vaccine that day," she said.

The health department says peak flu season usually comes in January or February. Vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of six months.  

PARTICIPATING WALGREENS STORES

Albert Lea (703 E. Main St) - Tues. Dec. 21, 4-7 p.m.

Alexandria (910 Broadway St) - Tues. Dec. 21, 3-6 p.m.

Austin (1420 W. Oakland Ave) - Tues. Dec. 21, 3-6 p.m.

Bemidji (421 Paul Bunyan Dr) - Tues. Dec. 21, 4-7 p.m.

Bloomington (7845 Portland Ave S) - Tues. Dec. 14, 4-7 p.m.

Cambridge (115 Garfield St N) - Wed. Dec. 15, 4-7 p.m.

Chaska (3110 Chaska Blvd) - Wed Dec. 15, 5-8 p.m.

Duluth (4501 Grand Ave) - Tues Dec. 21, 4-7 p.m.

Duluth (1201 Miller Trunk Hwy) - TBA

Elk River (18267 Carson Court) - Thurs Dec. 16, 4-7 p.m.

Fairmont (1123 E. Blue Earth Ave) - Wed. Dec. 15, 4-7 p.m.

Faribault (612 4th St NW) - Tues. Dec. 14, 3-6 p.m.

Fergus Falls (326 W. Lincoln) - Wed. Dec. 15, 4-7 p.m.

Forest Lake (1207 W. Broadway Ave) - Mon. Dec. 13, 3-6 p.m.

Grand Rapids (18 SE 10th St) - Tues. Dec. 14, 3-6 p.m.

Hibbing (1130 E. 37th St) - Sat Dec. 11, 12-3 p.m.

Mankato (1270 E. Madison Ave) - Wed. Dec. 15, 3-6 p.m.

Minneapolis (621 W Broadway) - Tues. Dec. 14, 3-6 p.m.

Moorhead (900 Main Ave) - Mon. Dec. 20, 4-7 p.m.

Northfield (401 W. 5th St) - TBA

Owatonna (125 18Th Street SE) - Thurs. Dec 16, 4-7 p.m.

Red Wing (3142 S. Service Dr) - Tues. Dec. 21, 3-6 p.m.

Richfield (12. W. 66th St) - Thurs. Dec 16, 3-6 p.m.

Rochester (1112 Civic Center Dr) - Wed Dec. 15, 3-6 p.m.

St. Cloud (2505 W Division St) - Wed. Dec 15, 4-7 p.m.

St. Paul (1180 Arcade St) - Mon. Dec. 13, 5-7:30 p.m.

Virginia (5474 Mountain Iron Dr) - Thurs. Dec. 16, 3-6 p.m.

Willmar (1301 1st St. S) - Thurs. Dec. 16, 2-4 p.m.

Winona (750 Mankato Ave) - Tues. Dec. 14, 4-7 p.m.

Worthington (1321 Oxford St) - Wed Dec 15, 4-7 p.m.