Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Hundreds of Rochester and Olmsted County government employees rolled up their sleeves and were given a flu shot Thursday.

The so-called “mass vaccination clinic” was held at the RCTC Fieldhouse and was also offered to the workers’ spouses and retirees.

The event was coordinated in part by Olmsted County Public Health Services. The agency says such large-scale vaccinations “provide the opportunity to practice and test current plans, policies, and procedures and helps prepare staff, partners and volunteers to quickly and effectively respond when called upon.”

A similar event was conducted in 2008 when more than 1000 vaccinations were given within two hours. About 650 took part this year.

The Minnesota Department of Health today signaled the start of the flu season by issuing its first weekly update on influenza activity since the end of the previous flu season in the spring. The report rates overall flu activity statewide as “sporadic.” It lists two flu-related hospitalizations and one probable outbreak in a school.

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