With flu season on its way, area hospitals are providing free flu shots beginning Monday.
Influenza activity typically begins to increase in October and lasts through April. During the 2018-19 season in the U.S., the flu caused between 37.4 million and 42.9 million illnesses in the U.S., resulted in between 531,000 to 647,000 hospitalizations and between 36,400 and 61,200 deaths, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC recommends everyone over 6 months of age get a flu vaccine each year. The shot is especially important for those at high risk for developing complications: children younger than 5, adults 65 or older, pregnant women, and those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, lung disease, heart disease and diabetes.
Michelle Jeon, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, says each flu season is different in severity and length.
“This is why it’s so critical for people to get their shot annually, ideally before the end of October,” Jeon said. “It takes about two weeks for the shot to become effective, so it’s always best to get vaccinated early so the body can build up immunity before the flu season ramps up.”
Barnes-Jewish Hospital will provide free seasonal flu shots at these locations:
City of St. Louis
When: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 7 – Wednesday, Oct. 9
Who: Adult vaccinations only (18 years old and older)
Where: Barnes-Jewish Plaza Tower, main-floor lobby
1 Barnes Jewish Plaza
Parking is available in the Plaza Garage for $2 per hour
When: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 – Wednesday, Oct. 9
Where: Center for Advanced Medicine, third-floor lobby
4921 Parkview Place
Parking is available in the Euclid Garage for $2 per hour
West St. Louis County
When: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12
Where: Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Medical Office Building 2
10 Barnes West Drive
North St. Louis County
When: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13
Where: Siteman Cancer Center at Christian Hospital
Christian Hospital Atrium, Detrick Building
11133 Dunn Road
South St. Louis County
When: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19
Where: Siteman Cancer Center, South County
5225 Midamerica Plaza
SSM Health is offering free flu vaccinations Saturday, Oct. 12, from 8 a.m. to Noon at these locations for ages 9 and up (except at Cardinal Glennon, where ages 6 months and up are accepted):
Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital
Drive-through parking lot next to Ronald McDonald House
3450 Park Avenue, St. Louis
St. Mary’s Hospital
Drive-through Bellevue Avenue (one block south of Clayton Road), Richmond Heights
St. Clare Hospital, Conference Center
1015 Bowles Avenue, Fenton
St. Joseph Hospital, Education Center, Koenig Building
400 Medical Plaza, Lake Saint Louis
DePaul Hospital, May Center
12303 DePaul Drive, north St. Louis County
SSM Health Outpatient Center, Lewis and Clark Conference Room
711 Veterans Memorial Parkway, St. Charles
For more information, visit barnesjewish.org/flushots or call 314-867-3627.
You can also visit ssmhealth.com/access/now/ to schedule an appointment with a physician’s office, urgent care or SSM Health Express Clinic at Walgreens.