It's flu vaccination time again!

10/3/2016 by Dr. Robert M. Jacobson

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Mayo Clinic recommends everyone get a flu shot (influenza vaccination) each year. However, this flu season there's one change. Mayo, along with leading vaccine experts, does not recommend the nasal spray form of the flu vaccine, known as FluMist®. Studies, which were published this year, show that in the past few years, the nasal spray form did not work to prevent the flu. 

Mayo Clinic will not offer the nasal spray, only the injected vaccine. For pain relief, our nurses will provide coolant sprays, vibrating ice packs and comfort holds. 

Employee and Community Health (ECH) will offer the vaccine throughout the flu season until there are no more outbreaks and the vaccine in stock has expired. 

  • Patients must be six months old to get their first dose of vaccine. 
  • For those six months through 64 years of age, Mayo Clinic recommends the standard age-appropriate flu shot. It's also known as the inactivated influenza vaccine. 
  • For those 65 years and older, Mayo Clinic recommends the high-dose flu shot. 
  • Patients who have egg allergies, including those with allergies that cause more than hives, will find that they can get the flu vaccine more easily. They won't need a special vaccine or a referral to Allergy. Also, they won't need to be observed for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. Studies show that patients with egg allergies have no increase in allergic reactions to the flu vaccine than non-allergic patients. Any allergic reaction to the flu vaccine is very rare. 

Mayo Clinic starts its flu vaccine programs in mid-October. This makes sure we will have enough flu vaccine on hand to meet our demand. 

Members of the community who receive primary care from ECH

  • Starting October 5: Call your primary care site to schedule a flu vaccination. 
  • October 17: Scheduled flu-vaccine-only visits begin
    • Monday - Friday during normal patient hours at each primary care site
  • October 22 & 29 and November 12: Scheduled flu-vaccine-only visits
    • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mayo Family Clinic Northeast (closed from 12-1 p.m.)
    • 8 a.m. to noon at Mayo Family Clinic Kasson
  • October 24 through November 18: Walk-in clinics
    • Available for patients who don't require a private examination room (patients age 8 years and older, dressed in clothing with access to the upper arm, etc.)
    • Mayo Family Clinics Northeast, Northwest and Southeast only
    • Monday through Friday during each clinic's regular patient hours
    • Walk-in clinics closed from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 30 minutes prior to regular clinic hours ending

Non-ECH/non-employee adult patients

The Adult Walk-in Clinic will provide flu vaccines to non-employee, non-ECH patients age 16 years and older who have a Mayo Clinic number

  • October 17 through November 4: Monday - Friday, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
    • Located in the Hilton Building Subway (follow the signs for the flu clinic - just past Desk C)
    • After November 4, providers will need to order a flu shot for non-employee, non-ECH patients to obtain appointments in the Immunization Clinic

Dr. Robert M. Jacobson is a primary care pediatrician in Employee and Community Health's (ECH) Division of Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (CPAM) and is the medical director of the ECH and Southeast Minnesota Region Immunization Programs.