Have you scheduled your flu and COVID-19 vaccines?
All people 6 months of age and older are encouraged to get their flu vaccination when available in their local community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people are vaccinated for flu as soon as possible to ensure they are fully vaccinated for the influenza season.
Ahead of the fall respiratory virus season, the Food and Drug Administration has also approved two updated COVID-19 vaccines. The new messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines are formulated to better target variants that are currently circulating and will replace outdated vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all people 6 months of age and older receive the new 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts say it's safe to get both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time. Both vaccines have been shown to prevent the most serious complications of COVID-19 and the flu.
Online scheduling for influenza and COVID-19 vaccines begins Thursday, Sept. 28, for appointments at designated Primary Care Vaccination Clinic sites in Rochester, Kasson and Mayo Clinic Health System in Southeast Minnesota. You can schedule your vaccination appointment through your portal account. You also can schedule by calling your primary care clinic.
Please note that initial COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered for patients aged 5 years and older, with additional COVID-19 vaccine offerings for patients aged 6 months through 4 years old to come at a later date.
Vaccination visits will begin in a limited capacity next Monday, Oct. 2, at the Rochester 41st Street Vaccine,3033 41st Street NW (41st Street Professional Center Building, North entrance). All vaccinations clinics, including those in Kasson and those across Mayo Clinic Health System in Southeast Minnesota, will open at full capacity on Monday, Oct. 16. Patients can receive their vaccinations for influenza and COVID-19 by appointment only on weekdays and select Saturdays. Days and hours will vary.
COVID-19 and flu vaccines will be available during scheduled primary care visits beginning Oct. 16 for patients in Rochester, Kasson and across Mayo Clinic Health System in Southeast Minnesota.
Both flu and COVID-19 share common upper respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain and body aches, headache and vomiting. Both illnesses can also cause diarrhea, although it's more frequent in children with flu but can occur at any age with COVID-19. Change or loss in taste or smell is also possible in both, although this symptom is more frequent with COVID-19.
Complications from flu and COVID-19 can result in severe illness, including pneumonia, organ failure, heart attack, brain inflammation, stroke, hospitalization and death.
Learn more about flu and COVID-19 symptoms and causes on MayoClinic.org. Patients who believe they have flu or COVID-19 should utilize the Check Symptoms tool within the patient portal to assess their symptoms or contact their primary care clinician's office.
Put up your best defense — schedule your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations today.