Like it or not, flu season is here.

The good news: A strong defense is available — get vaccinated.

That’s the word from Todd County Health and Human Services. It put out a news release last week that quoted information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. CDC recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine.”

Todd County Health and Human Services, 212 2nd Ave. S. in Long Prairie, will have flu clinics from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m to 4 p.m. on the following dates: Monday, Oct. 28; Tuesday, Nov. 5; Monday, Nov. 25; Tuesday, Dec. 3; and Monday, Dec. 23.

Other information from Todd County Health and Human Services:

What are some key reasons to get a flu vaccine?

  • Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu illnesses, hospitalization and even death in children.

  • Flu vaccination also is an important preventative tool for people with chronic health conditions.

  • Vaccinating pregnant women helps protect them from flu illness and hospitalization, and also has been shown to help protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth, before the baby can be vaccinated.

  • While some people who get vaccinated still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness.

When and where to get vaccinated?

  • You should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even in January or later.

  • Flu vaccines are offered in many doctors’ offices and clinics. Flu vaccine is available in many other locations, including health departments, pharmacies, urgent care clinics, health centers, and travel clinics. Vaccines may be offered at your school, college health center, or workplace.

For more information or questions, call Todd County Health and Human Services at 320-732-4500.