The Rock Island County Health Department (RICHD) will hold walk-in flu vaccination clinics on Tuesdays in October and on November 1 during the same time as the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine clinics. The CDC says that patients can get the COVID-19 primary vaccine or booster and the flu shot at the same time. Clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 4, Oct. 11, Oct. 18, Oct. 25, and Nov. 1 at the health department, located at 2112 25th Avenue in Rock Island. No appointments are necessary for those age 12 and older. Appointments for both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are available for those younger than 12. Parents or guardians can call (309) 794-7080 to make appointments.

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

Oct. 4 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Rock Island Township offices, 2827 Seventh Avenue in Rock Island

Oct. 11 from 1-3 p.m., Blackhawk Township offices, 230 W. Fourth Street in Milan

Oct. 17 from 1-3 p.m., Village of Port Byron, 120 S. Main Street in Port Byron

Oct. 20 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at South Rock Island Township offices, 1019 27th Avenue in Rock Island

Oct. 21 from 9:30-11:30 a.m., Cordova Township, 910 Third Avenue South in Cordova

Both the Moderna and Pfizer bivalent Omicron boosters can be given if it’s been at least two months since the patient’s previous dose. The health department offers the Pfizer vaccine on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. The CDC says patients can take either the Pfizer or Moderna booster vaccines regardless of which brand they had during the primary series (doses one and two) or previous boosters, including doses three and four. At this time, only those 18 and older can get the Moderna bivalent booster; those 12 and older can get the Pfizer bivalent booster.

“Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines or boosters can be given at the same time if you haven’t already gotten your COVID-19 vaccine,” said Janet Hill, public information officer with the Rock Island County Health Department. “Getting vaccinated is our best protection against severe illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths due to either flu or COVID-19. We’ve had great response to our COVID-19 clinics, especially during the recent bivalent booster efforts, and we’d love to see people take advantage to get both vaccines at this one convenient time and location.”

Everyone six months and older is recommended to get the seasonal flu vaccine, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine. The flu season typically begins in October and peaks between December and March. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness. Serious cases of flu can result in hospitalization or death.

“We`ve been talking for almost two years about the importance of getting vaccinated or boosted to ward off severe COVID-19 infection, and it’s just as important to get your annual flu vaccine for the same reasons,” Hill said.

There is no out-of-pocket expense for these vaccines for 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. Be sure to bring all insurance cards with you to the clinic. Insurance coverages change frequently, so check with your insurance carrier to make sure your flu shot is covered. For those not using insurance, the cost is $35 and high-dose vaccines for seniors are $55 without insurance. Visa and Mastercard will be accepted. For more information, call the health department at (309) 794-7080.