Mayo Clinic recommends everyone get a flu vaccine each year. Getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever this year. The symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 are so similar that having symptoms may require testing for COVID-19. Also, at least for children, it appears getting symptoms from both increases the risk for hospitalization.
- Patients must wait until they are six months old to get their first dose of flu vaccine. Children less than nine years of age will need two doses in the first season for protection from flu (these doses need to be 28 days apart).
- For those six months through 64 years of age, we recommend the standard age-appropriate flu vaccine and not the high-dose reserved for those 65 years and older.
- For those two years to 49 years who qualify, the nasal spray vaccine is an option.
- Mayo Clinic considers those who qualify for either the injectable or the nasal spray vaccine both as equivalent options and does not recommend one over the other. The manufacturer has made major improvements and strong evidence supports this recommendation.
- For those 65 years and older, Mayo Clinic recommends the high-dose flu vaccine.
- Patients who have egg allergies, including those with allergies that cause more than hives, no longer need a special vaccine or a referral to an allergy specialist. 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.
General Immunization Information
See the adult and pediatric preventive health screening pages to see which vaccines you or your child may be due to receive. Call your primary care practice site to make an appointment. The appointment coordinator can help you decide if you need to schedule a provider or nurse visit.
School and Child Care Required Immunizations
Schools and child care require immunizations to be up to date. You will be notified of the vaccines required for entry. If you need help knowing if your child is up to date, call your primary care provider and a nurse will assist you.
When your child enters seventh grade, the school requires two vaccinations. These are the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) and MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate) vaccines. Your primary care provider also strongly recommends that your child complete the HPV vaccine series. Primary Care in Rochester and Kasson starts the two-dose HPV vaccine series at nine years of age. If your teen is 15 years or older when starting the HPV series, your teen will need three doses.
Your primary care provider also strongly recommends the second dose of the MenACWY vaccine at 16 years of age. High schools require this vaccine for students entering 12th grade. Many colleges require this and other vaccines for entry. Your college will notify you of their specific requirements.
Tetanus/diphtheria vaccine (Td) or tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) are booster vaccines. All adolescents should receive the booster at 11 to 12 years of age. Those who have never received a Tdap in the past should get one dose now (this is regardless of prior Td dosing). Td or Tdap should be used to boost every 10 years but may be given sooner with an injury (your provider will determine this need). Pregnant women should also get a dose of Tdap with each pregnancy.
Tdap should be given once to all adolescents and adults age 11 or over. This is regardless of prior Td dosing. Pregnant women should also get a dose of Tdap with each pregnancy.
Palivizumab (Synagis) is usually given seasonally from November through March to aid in the prevention of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) in infants at high risk for hospitalization from RSV. This year (2021) we have started the five-dose series in August because of the pandemic's impact on the RSV season which started this summer rather than last winter. Only a limited number of infants qualify. Your provider will contact you if your child qualifies for RSV prevention.