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News and Events, Health and Wellness

2021 flu vaccines now available at M Health Fairview locations via appointment or walk-in

Flu vaccines are now available at M Health Fairview clinics and retail pharmacies across the Twin Cities metro. If you need a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s easier than ever to come in and check both life-saving shots off your list.

  • September 17, 2021
  • By Staff Writer

We’re headed for another flu season in the midst of the pandemic, as the COVID-19 delta variant continues to spread. The good news? There are now vaccines available for both potentially life-threatening illnesses – and it’s easier than ever to check them off your list.

Flu vaccines are now available at all M Health Fairview clinics and retail pharmacies across the Twin Cities metro area. Appointments are required for clinic locations. To schedule an appointment online, please log into MyChart or create an account if you are a new user. You can also call 1-855-324-7843, or simply walk in at one of the M Health Fairview retail pharmacy locations listed below. 

If you need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine – or you’re immunocompromised and eligible for a booster shot – we can provide a flu vaccine during the same visit, no second appointment required. Find out more about COVID-19 vaccine eligibility or schedule an appointment.

To answer your flu vaccine questions, we’ve put together this helpful guide. Scroll down for more information about flu vaccine availability, locations, and our COVID-19 precautions.

Is it too early to get a flu shot?

September and October are great times to get the flu shot, so that your family will be protected when flu season starts. Flu season typically runs from October to March each year, and your body needs time to build antibodies to the flu virus after you have received your flu shot. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages everyone to get vaccinated before the end of October for the best protection, however the flu shot will continue to be offered throughout the flu season.

Who should get a flu shot?

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination for people 6 months and older. It’s especially important for those at high risk for developing flu-related complications – including pregnant women, children under 5, adults 65 and older, and people with certain medical conditions.

Where can I get a flu shot? 

Anyone six months of age or older can get a flu vaccine at any M Health Fairview clinic. Click here for a list of our primary care clinic locations. People six years of age and older can get a flu vaccine at the following retail pharmacy locations: 

In addition, the Fairview Pharmacy at M Health Fairview - Smiley's Clinic will be providing flu vaccines for those 19 years and older.

Flu shots are not widely available at our urgent care locations, though a limited number of vaccines may be distributed to urgent care patients that are being seen for other health concerns. 

Do I need an appointment? 

Appointments are required for our clinic locations. Appointments are not available at M Health Fairview retail pharmacies, but walk-ins are welcome. Find a clinic or pharmacy location near you.

How can I make an appointment?

Call 1-855-324-7843 to schedule an appointment at a clinic to receive your flu vaccination.

If you need a COVID-19 vaccine, visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub for eligibility guidelines and to schedule your visit – you can get your flu vaccine during the same appointment.

How much does the flu vaccine cost? 

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of the flu vaccine. If you don’t have insurance, the flu vaccine will cost $40 to $100 at an M Health Fairview clinic or pharmacy.

Is getting a flu vaccine safe during the pandemic?

M Health Fairview is committed to keeping our patients, staff, and community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of that effort, M Health Fairview care providers will be using safety measures while administering flu vaccines, including wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Our clinics are also employing social distancing procedures, screening measures, and visitor restrictions. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub for the latest information about our pandemic response.

What COVID-related safety procedures will I have to follow when I get my flu vaccine?

For everyone’s safety, a mask or face covering is required when you come to get your flu shot. When you arrive, our care team will also ask you several COVID-19 screening questions and take your temperature. If you are not feeling well on the day of your flu vaccine, please stay home and reschedule your appointment. Learn more about our masking requirements and visitor restrictions.

What is the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?

COVID-19 and the flu are both respiratory illnesses that can cause fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches. However, they are caused by two different viruses and have some important differences in the symptoms, who is most at risk of getting very ill, and how they spread. The CDC has an overview of the similarities and differences between the flu and COVID-19.

Is the flu vaccine safe for my family?

Yes. The flu vaccine is safe and effective – and it’s important for even young, healthy people to get vaccinated.

"There is so much misinformation out there regarding vaccines. We can't emphasize it enough: the risk of a vaccine is minor compared to the risk posed by the flu," said M Health Fairview Infectious Disease Physician Beth Thielen, MD, PhD. "Every year, I see children who are hospitalized, and even die, because of the flu. There is nothing sadder than a child dying of flu – a potentially preventable disease."

How effective is the flu vaccine?

Each year, different strains of the influenza virus spread across the country. Predicting which strain or type will be most common is difficult, and every year experts develop the flu vaccine based on data predicting which kinds will be most prevalent.

This year, the vaccines available are quadrivalent, meaning it protects against four common flu viruses. In addition to significantly decreasing the risk of getting flu, the flu vaccine – like the COVID-19 vaccine – significantly reduces the risk of ICU admission or death in those who become ill. 

What types of flu vaccine are available?

FluMist vaccines will be available at M Health Fairview clinics beginning in late September. The CDC has approved FluMist as a vaccine option for anyone ages 2 through 49 who is not pregnant. FluMist is a nasal spray flu vaccine. Like the traditional flu vaccines available this year, FluMist is quadrivalent. This means that it protects against four common flu viruses. Patients should verify that their clinic has FluMist supply when they make an appointment.

Have more questions about the flu vaccine?

Take a look at the CDC’s updated information about the seasonal flu shot.