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The original item was published from 9/30/2020 12:07:48 PM to 9/30/2020 12:13:22 PM.

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Posted on: September 30, 2020

[ARCHIVED] City to provide free flu shots in October


The City of Winona is participating in a community-wide effort throughout October to distribute free flu shots this fall to residents who otherwise would struggle to afford or access them.

The flu shot program, a partnership among Winona Health, Winona County and the city, is both an annual preventative health measure for residents and part of ongoing efforts to track and limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Flu shots are not only a tool to keep residents healthy this fall and winter, but a critical part of our COVID-19 strategy,” said Curt Bittle, the Winona fire chief and emergency manager.

Every day in October, residents will have the ability to go to at least one location in the city to get a free flu shot, primarily at Winona Health. The city will host a number of open community events during the month, offering drive-through or walk-up options in tents set up outdoors, with events held regardless of weather. The dates and times confirmed so far are:

  • Wednesday, October 14, 3-7 pm: Bob Welch Aquatic Center, 780 W. Fourth St.

  • Wednesday, October 14, 3-7 pm: Central Fire Station, 451 E. Third St.

  • Saturday, October 17, 8am-3 pm: Central Fire Station, 451 E. Third St.

  • Sunday, October 18, 11 am-5 pm: Maplewood Community Center, 1756 Kraemer Dr.

  • Wednesday, October 21, 3-7 pm: Central Fire Station, 451 E. Third St.

  • Saturday, October 24, 8 am-3 pm: Central Fire Station, 451 E. Third St.

  • Sunday, October 25, 11 am-5 pm: Central Fire Station, 451 E. Third St.

  • Wednesday, October 28, 3-7 pm: Central Fire Station, 451 E. Third St.

Additional dates and times may be added throughout the month. Visit or for more details and an updated downloadable calendar of daily free flu shot locations. 

Residents who have access to free or affordable flu shots through their workplace, healthcare providers, or other locations are asked to take advantage of those options. 

The seasonal flu may be difficult to differentiate from COVID-19. Both are viruses and symptoms can be similar - fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, body aches, a sore throat. These similarities could lead residents to believe they have the flu instead of COVID-19 and choose to not self-isolate, leading to additional spread. The flu presents an added challenge, especially for vulnerable populations, since it’s possible to have both viruses at the same time.

“We’re pleased to be a partner on this program to ensure residents have easy access to free flu shots this year,” said city manager Steve Sarvi. “It’s the latest example of how we’re working together with community partners to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep residents safe and healthy.”

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