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VA comes to Willmar, Minn., on Wednesday for one-day flu shot clinic

A special one-day flu clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the American Legion in Willmar, with Veterans Affairs staff from St. Cloud providing the service free of charge to veterans who are currently enrolled in the VA health care program.

This is the first time such a clinic has been scheduled in Willmar during the peak flu vaccination season, said Kandiyohi County Veterans Service Officer Trish Appeldorn.

Having the service brought to the veterans means they won’t have to travel to St. Cloud or Montevideo to get the vaccination.

It also makes it more likely that local, elderly veterans will get vaccinated for the flu, which could keep them healthy, said Appeldorn.

The one-day clinic will also provide Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccinations.

Appeldorn said the vaccinations are free for veterans who receive VA medical care. She said most vets in this region currently are enrolled and are eligible for the free vaccinations. All that’s needed is some form of identification.

Appeldorn said she hopes at least 100 veterans show up for the clinic, which will be conducted in a large, easy-access bus that will be parked outside the American Legion.

She’s been fielding numerous phone calls this week about the event, which makes her optimistic that veterans are getting the message and will show up to get vaccinated before the flu season hits hard.

Having a large crowd will show the VA that there’s a need to have services like this provided in the county, she said. That could increase the chances of it being offered here annually.

The service is open to any veteran – not just those who live in Kandiyohi County, said Appeldorn.

No appointment or registration is necessary, she said. Veterans just need to show up.

The American Legion is located at 220 19th Ave. S.W. in Willmar.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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