Get a flu shot for a healthy holiday season & new year
12/5/2016 by Dr. Robert M. Jacobson
In Minnesota, we can have flu outbreaks from December throughout the winter and spring, even as late as May. While it's ideal if everyone is vaccinated before December rolls around, it still makes sense to be vaccinated against the flu. Vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school - not to mention holiday parties and gatherings with friends and family.
You can get a flu vaccination throughout the flu season. Depending on which vaccine you receive, you'll be protected against three or four different flu virus strains.
Getting a flu vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk for developing flu-related complications including pneumonia or worsening of their existing health condition. Either one may lead to hospitalization or death. These high-risk groups include young children, adults age 65 years and older, pregnant women and people with certain chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease. But everyone needs to get the vaccine to protect themselves, as well as protect those around them.
To get a flu vaccination:
- If you are an ECH patient but not a Mayo Clinic employee or volunteer, contact your primary care practice site to schedule an appointment or visit a Mayo Clinic Express Care location.
- If you are a Mayo Clinic employee or volunteer, contact Occupational Health Services to get your vaccine.
- For friends and family members visiting you and Mayo Clinic this season, they can get flu shots through Mayo Clinic by asking their Mayo Clinic providers to order a flu shot for them at the Immunization Clinic in the Mayo Building.
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 medical director of the ECH and Southeast Minnesota Region Immunization Program.