With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, local health experts say it is extra important that everyone get a flu vaccine.
While getting a flu vaccine won't protect against COVID-19, flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
Reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu, is more important than ever.
The more people vaccinated; the more people protected. Do your part. Get a flu vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked with vaccine manufacturers to have extra flu vaccine available this flu season. Local health and medical professionals are recommending everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccination early.
Check with your local health department for where to get a flu vaccinations if you live or work outside of Olmsted County.
Where can I get a flu shot in Olmsted County?
Vaccinations are available at various locations in Olmsted County for those 6 months and older. The cost of the flu shot is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare, as a preventive service. Please check with your insurance provider for details and copay information. If you do not have insurance, MNSure can help you shop, compare and choose health insurance coverage that meets your needs.
All flu vaccine clinic sites maintain COVID-19 safety requirements, including social distancing, masking, handwashing, and crowd avoidance. Masks are required at all clinics. We recommend wearing a short-sleeved shirt to make it easier and faster to receive the vaccination.
Olmsted County Public Health
- Call 507-328-7500 to schedule an appointment for 2100 Campus Drive SE, Rochester, MN
- Please bring insurance card(s), payment for co-pays or $21 if no insurance will be billed.
- High Dose Influenza available for those 65 years and older with Medicare. Influenza vaccine for children without insurance or covered under MNSure, 12-18 years of age.
Olmsted Medical Center, Rochester
- OMC patients may also schedule an appointment with their primary care provider.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Appointment only. No walk-in flu vaccinations are available at Mayo Clinic, including Mayo Clinic Express Care. Patient flow allows for social distancing. Vaccinations given at the 41st St. Professional Building NW, 4111 West Frontage Road Hwy 52 NW, First floor, Suite 320 (note: flu vaccines will be administered at this site unless you have an existing appointment with your Primary Care team and plan to have a flu vaccine at that time)
When: October 12 through December 18
- Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Saturday: 8 a.m. – 12 noon
Community Health Services, Inc.
- Contact the clinic to find out about medical services, including immunizations. Dental, behavioral health and substance abuse services are also available.
- CHS Clinic-Rochester
- 1021-15 Avenue S.E. Rochester, MN
- Schedule appointment online
- 4611 Maine Ave SE and 3827 Marketplace Drive NW, Rochester, MN
- Schedule appointment online
What you need to know about the 2020-2021 influenza season
This season a flu vaccine is more important than ever!
Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself, your family and your community from flu. A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and save medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients.
- The difference between flu and COVID-19
- Facts about vaccines and what people need to know (Mayo News Network)
- Find additional answers to common questions from the CDC
Who should get a flu shot?
The current recommendation is that everyone over the age of 6 months should get the flu vaccine. 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. 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.
Parents want to do what's best for you child. Vaccines are the best thing you can do to protect your child from illness. If parents have questions, there are many sources of credible information available on the web, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC. There is also a lot of unreliable information out there, so it is easy to get lost in social media posts that highlight misinformation about vaccines. If you have questions, talk with your health care provider. They are your most reliable source of information. He or she will guide you and help you make decisions.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Some of the symptoms of colds, flu and norovirus are similar to COVID-19, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing from your healthcare provider is needed to determine the cause of your illness.
Your respiratory illness might be the flu if you have fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and/or fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children. People may be sick with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Flu viruses usually cause the most illness during the colder months of the year. However, influenza can also occur outside of the typical flu season. In addition, other viruses can also cause respiratory illness similar to flu. So, it is impossible to tell for sure if you have flu based on symptoms alone. If your doctor needs to know for sure whether you are sick with flu, there are laboratory tests that can be done.
How to prevent the flu
CDC recommends three actions to prevent flu.
- Get a flu vaccine,
- Practice everyday preventive actions, and
- Take antiviral medication to treat flu if your doctor prescribes them.
Following these prevention actions, along with additional recommendations to prevent COVID-19 will help keep all of healthy and safe.
Flu activity and surveillance
Minnesota Department of Health Weekly Influenza & Respiratory Activity and Statistics