Essentia stresses importance of flu shots, extends urgent care hours

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Ahead of a flu season that many health experts believe could be severe, Essentia Health is offering several options for flu shots.

Flu vaccines are recommended for anyone 6 months of age and older. They are covered by most insurance and are one of the best ways to protect yourself and loved ones from influenza.

“Last year’s flu season was mild due in part to social distancing, reduced travel and masking,” says Dr. Aaron Phillipps, an infectious disease physician at Essentia Health. “Less cases of influenza last year means less people with boosted immunity this year. And less immunity this year puts us at high risk for increased infections, hospitalizations and deaths.”


Dr. Phillipps then noted the importance of getting immunized as a way to avoid further stressing the region’s hospitals, which already are operating at or near capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If we can immunize a significant portion of our population against influenza, we can reduce hospitalizations, allowing us to keep resources available for COVID and other illnesses,” he said.

Through Essentia, you can get a flu shot during an upcoming appointment that was already scheduled; at one of Essentia’s pharmacies offering walk-in availability; or by scheduling an appointment at the Essentia Health clinic nearest you. You can schedule your flu shot via Essentia’s MyChart patient portal or by calling 844- 663-1068.

Visit care/flu/ for a complete list of walk-in flu shot options.

To learn more about and better prepare for the upcoming influenza season, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website by visiting

Though Essentia, you are able to receive your flu shot and COVID-19 or other needed vaccinations during the same visit. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has determined it is safe to receive both a flu and COVID vaccination at the same time.

Virginia urgent care

Essentia Health is expanding its hours of operation at Essentia Health Urgent Care-Virginia.

As of Sunday, October 3, Essentia Health Urgent Care-Virginia will be open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The clinic is located at 901 9th St. N.

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