Flu vaccines available

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, October 1, 2017

Want to protect yourself and your family from the flu? Get vaccinated. In an average year, up to 40,000 Americans die from influenza and its complications, and over 250,000 are hospitalized. According to a press release,  your best protection against the flu is an annual vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone over the age of 6 months. The best way to prevent getting and spreading  the flu is to get the flu vaccine.

It is especially important for people who meet these criteria to get vaccinated:

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Young children under 5, and especially those under 2 years.

Pregnant women.

People 65 or older.

People who live with or care for others at high risk of developing serious complications including caregivers of people with chronic medical conditions.

Each year’s seasonal flu vaccine contains protection from the three or four influenza viruses that are expected to be the most common during that year’s flu season. The vaccine is typically available as an injection or as a nasal spray. While there is an FDA-approved nasal spray vaccine that consists of a low dose of live, but weakened flu virus, the CDC no longer recommends nasal spray flu vaccinations because during the last three flu seasons, the spray has been relatively ineffective. This year the vaccine is available as an injection only.

Mayo Clinic Health System will not be offering FluMist.

The cost of seasonal flu vaccine is covered by most insurance plans. Mayo Clinic Health System will bill insurance or accept payment.

For more information on influenza and shot clinic dates, call Mayo’s flu information phone line, at 866-221-1852 or visit https://mayoclinichealthsystem.org/influenza.