ISHPEMING — It’s that time of the year again when local clinics are offering flu shots. As always, medical professionals want to remind everyone about the importance of getting their flu vaccine.

On Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., the UP Health System – Bell held a flu shot clinic. The clinic is made it quick and easy for patients to come in and get their vaccine in just a few minutes.

Director of Pharmacy Douglas Anderson says that getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid getting the flu. Anderson also encourages anyone who may be apprehensive about getting their flu shot to visit a clinic and get it. He says no studies have shown any actual risk associated with getting the flu shot.

“It’s the best way to prevent getting the flu,” said Anderson. “Along with hand hygiene and those sorts of things, the flu vaccine been shown to be the best way to prevent the flu and to make the flu less severe if you’re unfortunate enough to get the illness. And there are really no clinical studies that have ever shown any harm from getting the flu vaccine. There were some concerns years ago about different things that really never panned out in the scientific literature.”

Anderson also says that while certain patients are at a higher risk of getting the flu than others, everyone should get vaccinated. The flu shot protects you from getting the flu, and it prevents you from passing the flu along to someone who has a higher risk of getting it.

“Any patients that have long–term health conditions such as chronic emphysema or any type of respiratory illnesses, elderly or really young patients, pregnant women, and really anybody over the age of 6 months should be getting the flu vaccine,” said Anderson. “They likely will come into contact with one of those patients that are at a higher risk at some point, and they risk passing the flu on to them if they haven’t been vaccinated.”

The flu shot takes about two weeks to fully take effect. Anderson says the only side effects you may possibly experience after being vaccinated include body aches and a low grade fever.

UP Health System – Bell will be holding another flu shot clinic from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on November 1.

The cost of a flu shot is $30, and patients are asked to bring their insurance cards.