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Mayo Clinic encourages children to get flu shots; Vaccinations recommended for 6 months and over

 

Mayo Clinic Health System is urging parents to get their children vaccinated, and it will offer flu shots at elementary schools in Mower County to make it easy and convenient for parents to vaccinate their children.

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 children and adults with chronic health problems as they are at an increased risk to develop complications from influenza.

“With busy after school schedules, it’s hard to get your child in to see your provider for a flu shot,” said Dr. Vijay Chawla, pediatric physician at Mayo Clinic Health System, in a press release. “This program makes it easy and convenient for children to receive their annual flu vaccination.”

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, unless MnVFC eligible. Consent forms have been sent home from school. Consent forms are also available online at mayoclinichealthsystem.org/locations/Austin. Consent forms are to be returned to your child’s school at least two days prior to the scheduled vaccination clinic. Vaccinations will not be given without a signed consent form.

For more information, speak to your school nurse.

Austin schools

Kindergarten through fourth grade

Banfield, Oct. 5

Neveln, Oct. 5

Pacelli, Oct. 4

Southgate, Oct. 4

Sumner, Sept. 28

Woodson, Sept. 28

Mower County schools

Kindergarten through fifth grade

Grand Meadow, Oct. 27

LeRoy, Oct. 28

Lyle, Oct. 27

Sacred Heart, Oct. 28

Southland, Oct. 28