Where To Get Free Flu Shots In Chicago

WBBM Newsradio Staff
October 15, 2019 - 9:52 am
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It's that time of year again - time to get the flu vaccine. 

The Cook County's Health Department is encouraging people here to get a flu shot - sooner rather than later. 

And don't worry, if the flu shot is not covered by your insurance, the Chicago Department of Health has begun its annual free flu shot program for all Chicago residents. 

Free flu shots will be given in all 50 wards, for all city residents, whether you have insurance or not, and regardless of income. The city asks that people bring an ID, and if you are on Medicare, bring your Medicare card.

Check out the schedule below for where and when you can receive a free flu shot:

  • Oct. 15 - 7th Ward Office - 2249 E. 95th St. - 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Oct. 15 - Chicago Department of Family Support Services - 10 S. Kedzie Ave.10 S. Kedzie Ave. - 10a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 16 - 12th Ward - McKinley Park Fieldhouse - 2210 W. Pershing Rd. - 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 16 - 31st Ward - Maranatha Christian Revival - 4301 W. Diversey Ave. - 10a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 16 - Chicago Police Department: 25th District - 5555 W. Grand Ave. - 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 - 9th Ward - Salem Baptist Church - 10909 S. Cottage Grove Ave. - 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 - 18th Ward - Hayes Park Gym - 2936 W. 85th St. - 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 - Chicago City Hall - 121 N. LaSalle St. - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 18 - 32nd Ward Office - 2657 N. Clybourn Ave. - 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Oct. 19 - Family Flu - Daley College - 7500 S. Pulaski Rd. - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 19 - Family Flu - Truman College - 1145 W. Wilson Ave. - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 20 - St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church - 1936 W. 48th St.- 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 21 - 29th Ward Office - 6272 W. North Ave. - 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
  • Oct. 23 - 24th Ward Office - 1158 S. Keeler Ave. - 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Oct. 24 - 27th Ward Office - 4 N. Western Ave., Unit 1C - 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Oct. 24 - 20th Ward Office - 5707 S. Wentworth Ave. - 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 25 - South-East Asia Center - 5120 N. Broadway St. - noon-3 p.m.
  • Oct. 26 - 35th Ward - William P. Nixon School - 2121 N. Keeler Ave. - 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 26 - 4th Ward - Oakwood Shores Community Center - 3825 S. Vincennes Ave. - 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 28 - 10th Ward Office - 10500 S. Ewing Ave. - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 29 - BCBSIL Blue Door Neighborhood Center - 756 E. 111th St. - 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oct. 30 - 48th Ward Office - 5533 N. Broadway St. - 10a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Nov. 2 - 40th Ward Office - 5620 N. Western Ave.- 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Nov. 2 - 45th Ward - Jefferson Park Field House - 4822 N. Long Ave. - 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Nov. 2 - 37th Ward Office - 4926 W. Chicago Ave. - 9 a.m.-noon
  • Nov. 4 - 13th Ward - Westlawn Park - 4233 W. 65th St. - 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Nov. 9 - 22nd Ward - Vittum Park - 5010 W. 50th St. - 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Nov. 9 - Hana Center - 4300 N. California Ave. - 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Nov. 9 - 47th Ward - Chicago Public Library Sulzer Branch - 4455 N. Lincoln Ave. - 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Nov. 10 - Bernard Horwich JCC - 3003 W. Touhy Ave. - 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 15 - 49th Ward - Chicago Public Library Rogers Park Branch - 6907 N. Clark St. - 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Nov. 16 - 16th Ward Office - 5411 S. Ashland Ave. - 11 a.m.-3p.m.
  • Nov. 23 - BCBSIL Christ Universal Temple - 11901 S. Ashland Ave. - 11a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Dec. 3 - Chicago City Hall - 121 N. La Salle St. - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Dec. 7 - Whole Foods - 832 W. 63rd St. - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

**Note, the city said they are currently out of high-dose flu vaccine. High dose flu vaccine will be made available at sites as soon as it is shipped by the manufacturers to the Chicago Department of Public Health. The city's flu shot website will be updated when it is available. The high-dose flu vaccine is for people over age 65. The regular-dose vaccine is still available.

WHO NEEDS VACCINE?

Everybody, starting at 6 months of age, according to the CDC.

Related: Health Officials: It's Time To Give Flu Vaccine Another Shot

Flu is most dangerous for people over age 65, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions such as heart disease, asthma or other lung disorders, even diabetes.

But it can kill even the young and otherwise healthy. On average, the CDC says flu kills about 24,000 Americans each year. Last year, 135 children died.

Parents wouldn't "drive off with their child not restrained in a car seat, just in case they're in an accident," said Dr. Patricia Whitley-Williams, a pediatrician with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "So why would you not vaccinate your child against the flu?"

HOW BAD WILL THIS YEAR BE?

Flu is one of medicine's most unpredictable foes.

For example, last fall started off fairly mild. But in February, a strain notorious for more severe illness, called H3N2, suddenly popped up. Worse, even though each year's vaccine contains protection against H3N2, the circulating bug had mutated so it wasn't a good match. A vaccine that had worked well for the first few months of flu season suddenly wasn't much use.

But if that harsh bug returns, this year's vaccine has been updated to better match it.

LOTS OF OPTIONS

Manufacturers say up to 169 million vaccine doses will be available this year, and people can ask about different choices. Most will offer protection against four flu strains.

Traditional flu shots are for all ages. For needle-phobic adults, one brand uses a needle-free jet injector that pushes vaccine through the skin. And the FluMist nasal spray is for generally healthy people ages 2 through 49, who aren't pregnant.

Two brands are specifically for the 65-plus crowd, whose weakened immune systems don't respond as well to traditional shots. One is high dose, and the other contains an extra immune-boosting compound. Those brands protect against three flu strains, including the more typically severe ones.

And people allergic to eggs have two options, one brand grown in mammal cells instead and another made with genetic technology and insect cells.

OTHER STEPS TO TAKE

Cover coughs and sneezes. Wash your hands frequently during flu season. One recent study showed washing is better than hand sanitizers.

Ask about anti-flu treatments if you're at high risk of complications.

And most important, stay home if you're sick to keep from spreading the misery.