Where To Find Free Flu Shots For Children
With up to 198 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine available this year, everyone should be able to get a flu vaccine. And that is good news, especially since the flu vaccine recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices continue to state that all persons 6 months and older should get a yearly flu shot.
Although the best time to figure out where your family will get a flu shot is before flu season really gets started, you can likely still find a flu shot if you need one.
How Does Flu Spread
Flu spreads mainly by droplets when people who have flu talk, cough, or sneeze, and these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or are inhaled. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
People can spread flu to others from one day before they have symptoms to 5-7 days after they get sick. This can be longer in children and people who are very sick.
Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
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Vaccination Is The Best Protection Against Flu
Note: See Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2021-2022 Influenza Season for flu and flu vaccine information specific to the current flu season.
The best way to prevent flu is with a flu vaccine. CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year, ideally by the end of October. Children can get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes availableeven if this is in July or August. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even in January or later. More information on flu vaccination timing is available below. Keep in mind that vaccination is especially important for certain people who are higher risk of developing serious flu complications or who are in close contact with higher risk persons. This includes children at higher risk of developing complications from flu illness, and adults who are close contacts of those children.
Flu vaccines are updated each season to protect against the four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. This seasons vaccine has been updated from last seasons to better match circulating viruses.
Types of flu vaccines for children
During the current flu season, CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine.
Where Can Family Members Get The Vaccine
To help keep patients and families safe, we are continuing to limit visitors to Seattle Childrens. This means vouchers are not available in the Flu Room this year.
Family members and household contacts ages 3 and older can get a flu vaccine voucher to use at Rite Aid or Bartell Drugs .
- Find a Rite Aid location online or by calling .
- Find a Bartell Drugs location online or by calling .
- If your child does not have an upcoming in-person appointment, visit or hospital stay, you can download the flu voucher .
Family members 6 months to 35 months old will need to get a flu vaccine at their primary care providers office. Visit Help Me Grow Washington or call if you need help finding a primary care provider.
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Flu Vaccines Are Very Safe
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines for more than 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. When they occur, flu vaccine side effects are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days.
Where Can My Child Get Vaccinated
Your child can get vaccinated at your local health unit. Health units are also called public health units, community health centres, or primary care homes in some areas of B.C. Some family doctors and nurse practitioners also give vaccines. Pharmacists can vaccinate children who are five years of age and older. Services vary across B.C.
Its best to book your childs appointment well in advance as clinics book up quickly. This helps to ensure your child is vaccinated on time.
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Everyone 6 Months And Older Should Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is your best defence against the flu. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
It can save lives by:
- protecting you, if you’re exposed to the virus
- preventing you from getting very sick
- protecting people close to you:
- because you’re less likely to spread the virus
- who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu
The flu shot wont protect you against COVID-19.
Some Children Are At Higher Risk
Children at greatest risk of serious flu-related complications include the following:
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Where Can I Get A Flu Shot
- Visit your health department or a retail pharmacy in your community.
- Get a flu shot at your next scheduled appointment.If you already have an appointment at a Michigan Medicine primary care clinic, ask to receive a flu shot while youre there. Many specialists also offer flu shots through their clinics. Contact your specialty clinic about whether you can get your flu vaccine at your next scheduled appointment.
Get The Flu Vaccine From A Familiar Face
You visit your pediatrician for most issues related to your 6-year-old daughters health. Why wouldnt you turn to the provider who knows her medical history best when its time to prepare for flu season?
The best place for your child to receive the flu vaccine is her pediatricians office, often called a medical home.
Your pediatrician knows your childs vaccination history and whether shes at high risk for flu-related complications, which would make vaccination even more important, says Katherine Kreusser, MD, a community pediatrician with Childrens Clinic. You can count on the care and safety standards at your childs medical home.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children ages 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine. If your child is hesitant about shots, ask your pediatrician about the nasal spray flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that children ages 2 to 8 receive it, rather than the shot, because theres evidence the nasal spray offers better protection against the virus for those ages. Children with asthma and those younger than age 2 arent candidates for nasal spray vaccination.
The flu vaccine may arrive at pediatricians offices as early as Augustcall your pediatrician for information about availability. If your child needs a medical home, call the St. Louis Childrens Hospital Answer Line at or toll-free at .
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Should I Get Vaccinated If Im Pregnant
Yes. Changes in your immune, heart, and lung functions during pregnancy make you more likely to get seriously ill from flu. CDC recommends pregnant women get a yearly seasonal flu shot by the end of October, if possible, to ensure best protection against flu. You can be vaccinated during any trimester of your pregnancy. Getting vaccinated can also help protect your baby after birth from flu.
When Should I Get A Flu Shot
It is best to get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, so you have begun developing influenza antibodies to protect you against contracting the flu.
The CDC recommends that you get a flu shot by the end of October, but its not too late to benefit from some level of protection even as late as January.
NOTE: COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines may be administered at the same visit. You may receive both vaccines safely, with no wait time in between. However, at Michigan Medicine, the two vaccines must each be scheduled.
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Everything You Need To Plan Your Flu Shot
Texas Childrens Pediatrics remains committed to keeping every child vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases. This year, we are doing everything we can to expand our offerings to provide your family more options and greater convenience for getting vaccinated against the flu.
From evening and weekend offerings, as well as Car Side options at select locations, we have a time, place and method to fit your familys needs for getting the flu vaccine this year.
Visit your locations Facebook page for more details on what options, times and days are available for flu vaccines.
When Does My Child Need Vaccines
The team at the Children’s Clinic provides vaccines according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination schedule. Children receive vaccines at:
- 2-3 days old
- 12 years old
- 16 years old
The team provides vaccines at newborn care and well-child visits and can administer follow-up doses at quick vaccine-only appointments where you do not need to see a provider.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children receive a combination of vaccines rather than one single vaccine when possible. That reduces the number of injections your child needs.
For more information about vaccines for your child, call the Children’s Clinic, or request an appointment with the team of pediatric experts online today.
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People Targeted By The Free Program
- Children age 6 to 23 months
- People with certain chronic diseases, such as heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes, major obesity, cancer, asthma or a weakened immune system
- Pregnant women in good health who are in their 2nd or 3rd trimester
- People age 60 or older
Close contacts of groups of people at risk or of children under six months old, health-care workers, and pregnant women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester can also receive the vaccine at no charge. This year again, it is also free for people who live in remote or isolated areas.
Anyone else who wants protection against the seasonal flu can be vaccinated at their own expense.
Why Does My Child Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year
Flu viruses are constantly changing, so new vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu viruses that are likely to cause the most illness. Also, protection provided by flu vaccination wears off over time. Your childs flu vaccine will protect against flu all season, but they will need a vaccine again next flu season for best protection against flu.
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Who Should Get A Flu Shot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. Flu vaccination is especially important for adults 65 years and older, who account for most hospitalizations and deaths from flu. High dose flu shots are recommended for adults age 65 and over.
High-dose flu shots are recommended for adults age 65 and over. High-dose flu vaccines will be available at any Michigan Medicines regional flu clinics and at Michigan Medicine health centers. No special scheduling request is necessary beyond the standard flu shot appointment.
The Flu Shot Is Effective
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from season to season. It depends on:
- how well the vaccine matches with the circulating flu viruses
- the health and age of the person getting the flu shot
The viruses circulating in the population can sometimes change during the time it takes to produce a vaccine. When this happens during the flu season, the flu shot may not work as well as expected.
It’s also important to remember that the flu shot protects against several different flu viruses each season. The seasonal flu shot can still provide protection against the remaining 2 or 3 viruses, even when theres:
- a less-than-ideal match
- lower effectiveness against one virus
If you do get the flu, the flu shot may reduce the severity of flu-related complications.
Getting your flu shot is still the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu and flu-related complications.
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Keeping Our Patients Safe From The Flu
Michigan Medicine has joined dozens of health care institutions throughout the country in requiring staff to be vaccinated against flu or to wear a protective mask during any patient interaction during flu season. The requirement is designed to help protect the health of our patients and their families and will especially protect the many people we care for who have serious medical conditions and weakened immune systems.
FOR EMPLOYEES: Please visit our employee flu prevention site for more details for more information about our employee flu shot policy and upcoming employee flu shot clinics.
Its More Important Than Ever
Getting the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, but its important to protect yourself and others this flu season.
Theâ¯Flu Facts page on Ontario.caâ¯has information to help you identify if you have the flu, a cold or COVID-19.
Remember that influenza spreads easily, especially during the peak season running from late fall to early spring.
Symptoms of the flu include:
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Scheduled Flu Vaccine Clinics Begin Sept 21
This year its especially important to get vaccinated as we navigate a flu season combined with COVID-19. *To make it easier to get your child vaccinated, Childrens Physicians offers scheduled flu clinics on evenings and weekends through mid-November. Some offices are also offering drive-thru vaccine clinics. Please review the lists below for locations, dates and times.
All flu clinics will be appointment only. Call your Childrens Physicians office, or log into Childrens Connect via your computer or the mobile app and select Schedule an Appointment to directly schedule your childs visit.
Alternatives To The Pediatrician
Let’s say you miss the flu shot boat at your child’s doctor’s office and need to have your child vaccinated elsewhere. Some places to consider:
- Your local or state health department is often your best bet, so start looking there.
- The American Lung Association website has a user-friendly tool for finding local outlets for flu shots. Simply enter your zip code and nearby options will pop up. In addition, the tool will give you helpful information about each site, such as the days and times it’s open.
- Vaccinefinder.org works in much the same way as the ALA siteplug in your address or zip code and you’ll get a list of local places offering flu vaccines. You can use this tool to find locations for other vaccines as well, from chickenpox to shingles to HPV .
Note that many places that offer flu shots outside a doctor’s office may not give them to young children, especially kids under 4, so call ahead. This restriction may be waived if your pediatrician will write a prescription for your child to have a flu shot.
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Who Should Have The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019
- all primary school children
- all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
- children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and has a long-term health condition that makes them at higher risk from flu, they’ll be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.
This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2 years.
The nasal spray vaccine offers the best protection for children aged 2 to 17 years. They will be offered the flu vaccine injection if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.
Some children will be offered the injected flu vaccine if they have:
- a severely weakened immune system
- asthma that’s being treated with steroid tablets or that has needed intensive care in hospital
- a flare-up of asthma symptoms and need to use a reliever inhaler more than usual
- had an allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past
- a condition that needs salicylate treatment
If you’re not sure, check with the school immunisation team, the nurse or GP at your surgery, or a hospital specialist.
The injected flu vaccine is given as a single injection into the muscle of the upper arm, or the thigh for children under 1 year.