Now more than ever, Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend all people 6 months and older get flu vaccinations to protect themselves and others from getting the flu.

“This year, it is doubly important that everyone get the flu vaccine because if people have fever and respiratory symptoms in the fall, the first concern is going to be COVID-19,” says Priya Sampathkumar, M.D., an infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic. “The symptoms of the two diseases are hard to tell apart. If you get the flu vaccine, you are less likely to get the flu and less likely to be thought of as a possible COVID-19 case.”

Self-scheduling flu vaccine appointments online through Patient Online Services or the Mayo Clinic App is recommended. These convenient self-service options also prevent wait times on the phone and preserve resources for COVID-19. In addition, patients can ask to receive a flu vaccination during an existing appointment with their primary care provider.

Patients may also call 1-877-412-7575 (toll-free) to schedule an influenza vaccine appointment at Janesville, Waseca, or any other available locations.

Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, have respiratory symptoms, or are under quarantine should delay flu vaccination until they are no longer ill or their quarantine period is over.

To self-schedule for patients between 6 months and 12 years of age, a parent or guardian will need to schedule this appointment using caregiver access to the child’s Patient Online Services account. Patients ages 13–17 will need to have their own Patient Online Services accounts to directly schedule flu vaccination appointments. When making an appointment, note that children 6 months through age 8 need two flu vaccines if it is the child’s first seasonal flu vaccination. The second vaccine is given at least four weeks from the date of the first.

The cost of seasonal flu vaccine is covered by many insurance plans. Mayo Clinic Health System will bill insurance or accept payment. For additional information on the flu, visit the Mayo Clinic Health System website.

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