Health officials urge residents to get annual flu shot

Posted October 20, 2020

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and the coming flu season, a call is being made for individuals in River Falls to get their yearly flu shots.

At the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Student Health Services is encouraging everyone on campus to get immunized against the flu this season. According to the Student Health Services website, having influenza, COVID-19 or both, “may mean bad news for your health, respiratory health and overall ability to recover.” Getting immunized can help limit hospitalization or death attributed to both influenza and COVID-19, according to the health service.

Alice Reilly-Myklebust, director of Student Health and Counseling Services, said in an email that the campus has tried unsucessfully to schedule flu shot clinics. Despite this, she said other options exist for students to receive their yearly flu shot.

“For example, flu shots are covered by Student Health Services for current UWRF students at Vibrant (Health Family) Clinic, and students can just call the clinic to schedule for a flu shot,” she said.

Pharmacies in River Falls also offer flu shots. Freeman Drug Pharmacist Lisa Heier said that through early October more than 450 flu shots had been given this year at that pharmacy, compared to a couple hundred flu shots last year. According to Heier, Freeman Drug, 104 S. Main St., offers vaccinations for persons six and up with no appointment necessary.

While most health insurance covers flu shots, she said persons can also come in and pay out of pocket. Heier said that the flu shot won’t protect anyone from getting COVID-19, but it can protect a person from contracting symptoms that are similar to those experienced with the disease.

Flu shots also are available at Family Fresh Pharmacy, 303 S. Main St., and at Walgreens Pharmacy, 1047 N. Main St.