Mayo Clinic Health System is urging those who haven’t yet had their COVID vaccine, flu shot or booster dose to do so as patient demand decreases.
COVID-19 vaccinations at Mayo sites decreased by 17% from the previous week, while youth 5 to 11 accounted for 17% of those vaccinated. Flu vaccinations dropped 20% from the week prior, but overall rates are steady in comparison to previous years, Mayo said.
All adults over 18 are currently eligible for booster doses, and individuals 5 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is given in a smaller dose. Individuals six months of age and older are advised to get an annual flu shot.
Ben Anderson, nurse administrator at Mayo in La Crosse, says, “We have the capacity to help those looking to get their recommended booster vaccines. Mayo Clinic strongly recommends that all adults receive a COVID-19 booster vaccination as soon as possible if they are at least six months past their initial Moderna or Pfizer vaccination series, or at least two months past their initial Johnson & Johnson vaccination.”
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Infectious disease expert Dr. Abinash Virk of Mayo stresses the importance of a booster, citing a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which showed those who who received a Pfizer COVID-19 booster were 11 times more protected from infection, compared to those who had their initial two-dose vaccination series.
“Getting a booster vaccination increases your protection against a breakthrough case of COVID-19, and increases your safety, as well as the safety of family members, friends, colleagues, patients, visitors and community members, during the holiday season,” Virk says.
COVID testing at Mayo increased 4% last week, and 10% the week prior. Testing will be closed Thanksgiving Day and available limited hours Nov. 26.
Flu, COVID-19 vaccine or booster shots can be scheduled via Patient Online Services or by calling 608-392-7400. To schedule an appointment at Gundersen Health System, use the MyChart patient portal or call 608-775-6829.
Emily Pyrek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.