“The 2017-2018 season was the deadliest in 40 years.” Mankato Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Katie Smentek said that’s one of many reasons to get a flu shot appointment scheduled for the kids.

Mankato Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Katie Smentek.

Another is the vaccination rate. “In Minnesota, it’s about 62 percent for children between six months and 17 years last year,” she explained. Smentek added that was a bit better than the year prior, but every percentage point helps.

Mankato Clinic has planned a flu shot clinic for October 16th from 5:30 7:30. It’s an appointment-based event so Smentek says parents will have to schedule ahead. “Otherwise,” she added, “We will see kids here at the clinic any time to make an appointment for a flu shot or if you’re coming in for some other issue we can always give it to you then.”

Smentek said a lot of people believe they get the flu from the flu shot, but Mankato Clinic uses a vaccine with an inactive, or dead, virus so that’s not possible, “But you can get the effect of your immune system revving up to protect yourself. So you could get a little fever, you could feel a little achy but it’s nothing like getting the full-blown, body ache, high fever, can’t move influenza.”

She also explained influenza is a respiratory disease, and not related to tummy troubles many refer to as the “stomach flu.”