Protect yourself, your family by getting vaccinated today
6/2/2021 by Robert M. Jacobson, M.D.
Influenza and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms. Both can start with cough and fever. Catching the flu may require you to be tested for COVID-19. To make matters worse, getting both illnesses will increase your chance of severe health problems.
Influenza (flu) vaccination
Mayo Clinic advises all patients 6 months and older to be vaccinated for the flu every year. While you should get this vaccination on time — before the end of October — you should still get caught up. The flu can show up at any time of the year. Even now, Mayo Clinic still recommends you catch up.
While this season's flu has been almost invisible, now that the social distancing and masking are easing due to increased vaccination for COVID-19, a lot of common cold and respiratory viral infections are coming back. Experts suggest that we may be hit hard with the flu this coming year.
It is easy at Mayo Clinic to get caught up on your preventive care, including the flu shot. You can get vaccinated for flu at all primary care locations. You can self-schedule through your Patient Online Services account, via the Mayo Clinic App or by calling your local primary care clinic.
Mayo Clinic advises all patients 12 and older to receive their COVID-19 vaccination onw. They can be vaccinated for COVID-19 at the designated vaccine center in Mayo's 41st Street Professional Building at 4116 West Frontage Road NW, street level.
You can schedule your vaccination appointment using Patient Online Services or by calling the COVID-19 vaccine scheduling team at 507-538-4040. Many walk-in vaccination clinics also are available. Visit the Primary Care in Rochester and Kasson website frequently to find out when these clinics are scheduled.
Children 12 to 17 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Be sure to have your child drink plenty of fluids, and have a good meal or snack, beforehand. Vaccination staff will offer to comfort and distract your child during the appointment, and pain-relieving measures also will be available.
Mayo Clinic has all three COVID-19 vaccines available. The type of vaccine provided differs by clinic location and patient. The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for adults 18 and older. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for those 12 and older.
While the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is given as one dose, the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are given in a two-dose series. The second dose for Moderna is given 28 days after the first, and the second dose for Pfizer is given 21 days after the first. If you receive either of these vaccines, you will need to schedule your second dose.
What about other vaccines?
It is important to make sure that all family members are up to date with their vaccinations. You can view your vaccination status on your Patient Online Services account or contact your primary care provider's office to schedule any vaccinations you are due. It is safe for you to receive more than one vaccine at a time. If you have questions, you should talk to your primary care team.
Robert M. Jacobson, M.D., is the medical director of the Primary Care Immunization Program for Primary Care in Southeast Minnesota.