As we usher in fall and winter, we prepare for an influx of respiratory virus illnesses within our community. Prior to COVID-19, two viruses, flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), were the primary causes of severe respiratory disease during this time of year. Recently, health experts added COVID-19 to the list. The good news is that we have a new layer of protection this year. In addition to COVID-19 and influenza vaccines, the RSV vaccine is now available for select at-risk populations.
Vaccination against respiratory viruses is important, especially for those who are at higher risk of developing serious complications, including older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women and those with medical conditions. These vaccines are highlighted below, along with recommendations and qualifying factors. Talk with your provider to determine which vaccine(s) are right for you.
SEMC offers nurse-only appointments for vaccinations in our Sleepy Eye and Morgan Clinics. To schedule yours, call 507-794-3691.
Flu vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious outcomes. We recommend everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine every year. The flu vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines.
We offer the newest 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine formulation, which is available for those 6 months of age and older. This vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines.
RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV and need hospitalization.
Infants ages 8 months and younger entering their first RSV season as well as high risk infants entering their second RSV season have the option of vaccination. Talk with your child’s provider to determine if this is right for your child. This vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Women who are later in pregnancy during RSV season may be eligible to receive a dose of the RSV vaccine to give protection to their infant. Talk with your provider to determine if this is a good option for you and your child.
Adults 60 years of age and older also have the option to receive a single dose of RSV vaccine. Please check with your insurance company to determine coverage. *Some companies may only provide coverage if the vaccine is administered at a pharmacy. Your local pharmacist or provider can help you decide if the RSV vaccine is right for you.