LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – This week, Gundersen Health System opened a new fall vaccine clinic, offering both the flu shot and the updated COVID-19 booster. Infection preventionist, Megan Meller, says now is a better time than ever to catch up on your shots “October is always the best time to start getting your getting your flu shot. And that’s because the flu season starts or begins in, sometimes as early as, November and lasts through the year. So, getting that flu shot now means you have protection through the season.”

Meller says that Gundersen is providing a variety of different vaccines, “We are offering at these vaccine clinics the influenza vaccine, which covers influenza A and influenza B. We’re also offering the pneumococcal vaccine as we have in years past as is the COVID-19 vaccine. New this year though, we are offering the RSV vaccine to individuals 65 years and older.”

Meller says numbers across the board show vaccine rates are down. And they are already seeing cases of influenza and RSV in the community. She says getting the vaccine will go a long way to keeping you and others around you safe, “For people with underlying health conditions, getting sick with any one of those infections could really mean getting very sick or kind of taking you out for a couple of weeks. But when you get that vaccine, that vaccine prevents you from getting that sick. And so, when we look at who the vaccine has been most good for, it’s those who are elderly, those with chronic health conditions, those who are immunosuppressed, women who are pregnant, and young kids are going to be the most vulnerable. And so, getting that vaccine really means that you’re protecting them and you’re protecting yourself from more serious illness.”

The vaccine clinic in La Crosse will be open Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. through October 27th. It is by appointment only.