The Rock Island County Health Department is preparing for the fall-winter respiratory illness season by offering walk-in flu clinics in September and October and updated COVID vaccines by appointment for everyone ages 6 months and older.

Walk-in flu vaccination clinics on Tuesdays will be Sept. 19 to Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. at the health department, 2112 25th Ave., Rock Island. No appointments are necessary for those age 12 and older. Children ages 6 months to 11 years old require appointments because of the extra care those appointments require, according to a Wednesday health department release.

A Northwell Health registered nurse fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site in New York City in 2021. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)

“We’re thrilled to increase the number of walk-in flu clinics this season by starting in September,” said Janet Hill, interim administrator for the Rock Island County Health Department. “We estimate how bad a flu season might be based on how bad it was in the Southern Hemisphere. It was bad in many countries there.”

Additional flu clinics have been scheduled at other county locations, including:

  • Sept. 26 from 1-3 p.m., Blackhawk Township offices, 230 W. 4th St., Milan
  • Oct. 12 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at South Rock Island Township offices, 4330 11th St., Rock Island
  • Oct. 16 from 9:30-11:30 a.m., Cordova Township offices, 910 3rd Ave. South, Cordova

Appointments for both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are available for those younger than 12. Parents/guardians can call 309-794-7080 for appointments. For flu vaccine, there is no out-of-pocket expense to those with Medicare Part B or an Illinois Medicaid card. Most Blue Cross, UnitedHealth Care, Health Alliance, Aetna, Coventry/First Health, HFN, HealthLink, and Humana insurance plans are accepted.

Please bring all insurance cards with you to the clinic. Insurance coverages change frequently, so please check with your insurance carrier to make sure your flu shot is covered. For those not using insurance, the cost is $35. High-dose vaccines for seniors are $66 without insurance. Visa and Mastercard will be accepted. For more information, call the health department at 309-794-7080.

COVID-19 vaccine

The health department also will offer the reformulated COVID vaccine as soon as it is available, Hill said Wednesday. Until it arrives, no COVID vaccines can be given anywhere in the U.S. because the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has deauthorized the bivalent Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Syringes with vaccines are prepared at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans’ Community Resource Center where they were offering members and the public free flu and COVID-19 vaccines Oct. 28, 2022, in Lynwood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

 “We have ordered the updated COVID-19 vaccine, but we don’t know when it will arrive,” Hill said. “We expect that supply will be limited for the first few weeks. Because of this uncertainty, we have suspended walk-in COVID clinics and will offer appointments only. We will share on our Facebook page and through traditional media when the vaccine arrives.”

Once vaccines arrive, the health department will offer:

  • Moderna vaccine on Tuesdays
  • Pfizer vaccines on Fridays
  • Appointments for children younger than 12 will be offered on Wednesdays: Moderna in the morning and Pfizer in the afternoon.

If supply allows, the health department expects to offer about 35 appointments each clinic day. Once COVID vaccines arrive, call 309-794-7080 to make an appointment. Please bring your COVID vaccination and insurance cards to your appointment.


“We’ve been talking for almost three years about the importance of getting vaccinated to ward off severe COVID-19 infection, and it’s just as important to get you annual flu vaccine for the same reasons,” Hill said. Everyone 6 months and older is recommended to get the seasonal flu vaccine, just as everyone 6 months or older should get the updated COVID vaccine.

The flu season typically begins in October and peaks between December and March. COVID vaccines no longer are being provided for free from the federal government, the release said.

The health department will bill your health insurance. It is the patient’s responsibility to determine coverage with your insurance company with the health department as an authorized site. Medicare Part B and Illinois Medicaid will pay for the COVID vaccine.

The department said they expect that insurance patients will have no out-of-pocket costs, but individual policies could vary. The health department also has enrolled in programs that will pay for both flu and COVID-19 vaccines for those who are underinsured and uninsured. Supplies are limited. Both the flu and COVID vaccines also will be available at the department healthcare and pharmacy.

CVS and Illinois moves

CVS Health today also announced that the updated COVID-19 vaccine recently authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC is now available at its CVS Pharmacy locations. Pharmacies will begin receiving the new vaccine today and will continue to receive inventory on a rolling basis throughout the week.

All CVS Pharmacy locations are expected to have the vaccination in stock by early next week.

A CVS pharmacist administers a COVID vaccine (courtesy of CVS Health).

Heading into the fall, the Illinois Department of Public Health is closely monitoring data on COVID as well as other respiratory viruses including flu and RSV. The federal guidance comes as data indicates an uptick in COVID hospitalizations in Illinois and the nation, with a seven percent increase statewide in the week ending Sept. 2, the most recent period for which data is available, according to IDPH.

There are currently 12 Illinois counties at a medium level for COVID hospitalizations according to the CDC national dashboard, meaning they exceed ten new cases per 100,000 population in the last week.

The CDC recently launched a new national respiratory virus dashboard that allows the public to view the levels of COVID, flu and RSV in each state.

“Illinois now has a new tool to prepare our residents for the fall and winter respiratory season: an updated COVID-19 vaccine that targets current strains” said IDPH director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “I recommend the updated vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. These shots will help prevent hospitalizations and severe outcomes and are especially important for those who are over 65, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions.”

For those who are uninsured or under-insured, the CDC this summer launched the Bridge Access Program that will cover the cost of COVID vaccines this fall. The Vaccines for Children Program will cover vaccines for eligible children.

For more COVID information, visit the state website HERE.