Flu Season FAQs

    Keep your family strong. Vaccinate. Fight Flu.

    Why should I get vaccinated?

    • Flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Each year the season is different and the flu can affect people differently. We encourage everyone six months and older to get a flu shot every year. An annual vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. 

    How does it spread?

    • The flu is contagious. You can spread it to others up to about six (6) feet away. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states most experts think flu viruses are spread by being in close contact with infected people. Most healthy adults can infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. To avoid spreading the flu to others, stay home if you are sick, wash your hands often with soap and water, and cough into your sleeve or elbow.  

    What are the symptoms? 

    How long does it take my body to develop protection?

    • It takes about two weeks after receiving the flu vaccine to develop the body’s protection to fight the illness.

    When and where can I get it? 

    • The Clinic at Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) (1005 West Worley St.): Visit us on Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and no appointment is needed. 
    • School-based flu clinics: Thanks to generous support from MU Children’s Hospital and the David B. Lichtenstein Foundation, our public health nurses continue to conduct school-based flu clinics in participating elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Boone County this fall. These clinics typically begin in October. Parents with questions about their school’s participation should contact their school nurse.

    What can I get?

    • We offer flu shots for all individuals age six months and older. Due to a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), theFluMist® nasal spray vaccine will not be offered this season.
    • We offer a high dose vaccine specifically for persons age 65 and older.
    • If you have a severe egg allergy, please contact your medical provider about receiving the vaccine.
    • If you have specific questions about our vaccine supply, please call 573-874-7356.

    What does it cost?

    • It is FREE for children age six months through 18 years: Thanks to the generous support from MU Children’s Hospital and the David B. Lichtenstein Foundation, we continue to provide free flu vaccine to all children six months through 18 years of age.
    • For adults 19 and older, the cost depends on insurance coverage: We accept cash, check, credit/debit cards and can bill many insurance plans. Receipts can be provided upon request. The cost of the vaccine is $25 for self-pay individuals. 

    What do I need to bring with me to the PHHS clinic?

    • If you have an insurance plan, please bring your card. At the clinic, you will be required to complete a consent form and read the Vaccine Information Statement, which is also available in multiple languages below:

    Why does my Medicare statement say I got my flu vaccine from VaxCare in Orlando, Florida?

    • If your Medicare statement says you got the flu vaccine from “VaxCare” in Orlando, Florida, it’s legitimate. We contract with VaxCare to provide our vaccine, which means they actually bill Medicare for the vaccine, therefore it’s not a fraudulent claim. If you have questions, please call 874-7356. 

    Where can I learn more information?

    Questions? Email us at flu@CoMo.gov