Fairview Range Blog

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Why Immunizations Are Important: Q&A with Our Infection Prevention Coordinator, Lisa Hesse

Flu season is right around the corner. Are you prepared? The best way to protect yourself and others is to make sure your immunizations are up to date. We’ll be hosting a Family Flu Shot Clinic on Saturday, September 30th at our Hibbing clinic location or schedule your flu shot at our Nashwauk and Mountain Iron clinic locations in October. Appointments can be made by calling 218-362-6937. We also asked our Infection Prevention Coordinator, Lisa Hesse to answer your most pressing immunization questions.

Why are immunizations important?

Immunizations are important for the health of individuals, and for the health of a community. Not only do vaccines protect you, they also protect those around you like kids too young to get the vaccine or those who are immunocompromised due to cancer or other conditions. Before vaccines, diseases spread much faster. These days, most vaccine-preventable diseases have decreased over 90% compared to before they were available. Getting vaccinated is much safer than getting immunity from the disease itself.

How do they work?

Vaccines work by making the body think you have an infection when you don’t. They might do this by using a weakened or killed bacteria or virus, or just bits and pieces of one, or even an inactivated toxin that is created by the bacteria or virus. In each case, your body learns how to respond to the threat and protect you from a future infection safely, without the risks of serious illness, disability, or even death that can occur with a real infection.

Why should people get a flu shot each year?

The flu virus is especially crafty! There are many versions of the flu virus, and they all constantly mutate and change as they grow. This means that the flu virus that circulates one year is often quite different the next year, and the vaccine we had last year may not do a good job of protecting us this year. So each year new vaccines are developed using the three or four strains most likely to infect us in a given year. Immunity from the flu shot also decreases over time, so we need a new flu shot each year to protect us.

What about COVID? Do we need another vaccine this year?

Similar to the flu, COVID also mutates. While our previous COVID vaccinations protected us, they may not work as well with new mutations. That’s why new vaccines are being tested and getting ready for fall. There will be a new vaccine with the most current strain coming soon so look for more information in the next couple of months.

Does insurance typically cover immunizations? 

Most healthcare plans cover the costs of recommended vaccines. For those without insurance, check with your healthcare provider about low or no cost vaccine resources that may be available in your area.

What is the best way to make sure you’re up to date on your immunizations?

Check with your healthcare provider! They know you and want you to be healthy. Staying up to date on vaccinations is important to prevent disease in ourselves and in our community. It’s easy to get behind on scheduled vaccines when life changes – or events like the COVID pandemic – interfere with our normal health care appointments. 

Also, vaccines are not just for kids! Adults are often surprised to learn that they need to keep up to date too – important vaccines exist for many diseases such as hepatitis A & B, shingles, pneumonia, and the human papilloma virus. Adults also need tetanus combination boosters at least every 10 years. If you are pregnant, vaccination reduces the risk your baby will get sick or hospitalized from a preventable disease after it is born.

Still have questions?

To learn more about what vaccines you or your family need to stay healthy, contact your healthcare provider. Online, see these evidence-based sources for accurate information.

MDH immunization page https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/immunize

CDC immunization page https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/

VaccineInformation.org  https://vaccineinformation.org/ 

When and where are Fairview’s flu shot clinics? 

There will be a Family Flu Shot Clinic at Fairview Mesaba Clinic in Hibbing on Saturday, September 30th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Scheduled appointments and walk-ins accepted. 

 Or you can schedule your flu shot at one of our clinics on the following dates:


402 East Platt Avenue | October 3, 5

Mt. Iron

8496 Enterprise Drive South | October 2, 4, 6

Appointments can be made by calling 218-362-6937.

Already seeing your provider soon? No need for a separate appointment. Ask for your flu shot during your visit.


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