Because COVID-19 continues to spread in the community, reducing your risk for catching the flu is more important than ever — and, thankfully, the same measures that protect you from COVID-19 work for the flu as well.
Christelle Ilboudo, MD, pediatric infectious disease expert and MU Health Care’s medical director of infection control and prevention, said the best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated. And MU Health Care is offering several safe, convenient opportunities to get your 2021 flu vaccine (see below for options).
Ilboudo recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccination in September or October, but if you miss that window, you can be vaccinated anytime during flu season, even in January or later.
You can get a flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccination. There is no need to space the two vaccinations. And if you need a COVID-19 vaccination, you can add on a flu shot at the Keene Street vaccination site. Learn how to schedule an appointment.
In addition to getting the flu shot, you should also continue masking, physical distancing and good handwashing hygiene. “The public health measures that we’re using to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 are also successful in reducing the spread of influenza,” Ilboudo said.
2021 Flu Shot Options
This year, there will be multiple drive-thru flu shot events.
- South Providence Medical Park in Columbia: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 25-26 and Oct. 2-3 at South Providence Medical Park, 551 E Southampton Dr. (See a map of the drive-thru site.)
- Fulton Family Health in Fulton: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10 at Family Medicine – Fulton Family Health, 2613 Fairway Dr, Suite C, in Fulton. (See map)
The drive-thru events are for anyone ages 6 month and older. COVID-19 vaccines will not be available at the drive-thru events.
Other flu shot opportunities
- Anyone age 6 months or older can receive a flu shot at an existing appointment at many of our MU Health Care clinics. If you need to establish care, please contact a primary care clinic.
- Many clinics also offer COVID-19 vaccines. Ask your doctor for more information.
- Anyone age 2 or older can get a flu shot at one of our Mizzou Quick Care clinics.
- Patients of our pediatrics clinics may schedule an appointment to receive a flu shot.
- Anyone age 7 or older may walk into a Mizzou Pharmacy location for a flu shot. No appointment is needed.
In addition to the above opportunities, the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, MU Health Care and the David B. Lichtenstein Foundation will provide free flu shots to schoolchildren in Boone County. Additional information will be provided to families from the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services.
Drive-thru frequently asked questions
Q: How should I prepare?
A: You should bring a mask and wear it when interacting with staff members. Please wear loose, short-sleeve shirts. If you have young children, consider putting them in shorts as we administer the flu shot in the thigh.
Q: What should I expect?
A: Follow signage at the drive-thru site. You will be directed to the line. You will need to review and sign a consent form prior to getting your shot. Put your car in park when you reach the station to get your shot.
Q: Will you accept insurance at the drive-thru?
A: Yes, we will collect insurance information and bill your insurance company for your flu shot. You will receive a billing statement in the mail. Patients who elect to self-pay should expect to pay $37.20 (ages 64 and under) or $58.40 (ages 65+) via a mailed statement.
Q: What happens if I’m getting a flu shot for the first time?
A: Anyone 6 months and older who has not previously received a flu vaccine should get two doses spaced one month apart. If you’re receiving your first flu shot, we ask you to wait for 15 minutes in our observation area to monitor for any reactions.
Q: What happens if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
A: You should not come for a flu shot if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Seek care and/or follow quarantine instructions if you test positive. Once you no longer have symptoms or have finished your quarantine, please seek a flu shot at any of the above locations.