Essentia Health offers two options to be vaccinated against the flu: by scheduling a 10-minute appointment at your local clinic or stopping by during a walk-in flu clinic.

“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from the flu,” Kari Russell, registered nurse and infection preventionist at Essentia Health, said in a news release. “Other precautions you should take include washing your hands regularly, covering your cough, and not going to work or school if you are sick.

“An infected person can spread influenza when they cough, sneeze or just talk near others," Russell said. "They can also spread it by touching or sneezing on an object someone else touches later.”

Vaccinations are recommended for everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women. To make the experience more comfortable for children:

  • Bring a comfort object, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, something that will help your child feel comfortable and safe in the environment.
  • Use comfort positions of hugging your child chest to chest, chest to back, or in a side-seated position - all ways to have the child feel embraced and secure - while receiving an immunization.
  • Provide distractions, such as deep breathing or blowing bubbles.

The cost of a flu vaccine is covered by Medicare Part B, Medicaid and most private insurance companies. Minors must be accompanied by their parent or guardian.

Essentia Health clinics offer 10-minute appointments at all locations: Baxter, Brainerd, Crosslake, Emily, Hackensack, Pequot Lakes, Pierz, Pillager and Pine River. Options for flu vaccination include flu shots and a high dose flu shot option for those 65 and over. Call 218-828-7100 to schedule an appointment at a clinic.

The following walk-in flu clinics will be held in October:

  • Baxter and Brainerd Clinic pharmacies: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. Must be 19 or older.
  • Baxter Clinic: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30; and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 12, 26.
  • Brainerd Clinic: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 19 and Nov. 2.
  • Crosslake Clinic: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30.
  • Emily Clinic: 8:30 a.m.-4 pm. Thursdays, Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31.
  • Hackensack Clinic: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1.
  • Pequot Lakes Clinic: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31.
  • Pillager Clinic: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29.
  • Pine River Clinic: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29.