Flu FAQs

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the flu vaccine.

Questions and Answers about COVID-19 and the Flu

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we do annual flu clinics. Read the FAQs about COVID-19 and the flu:

Will the flu shot protect me against the coronavirus?

The flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, but it does have many important benefits, including the ability to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. Getting a flu shot this fall is very important in reducing your risk of flu illness, as well as helping to conserve potentially scarce health care resources. Visit the CDC website for more information.

What safety precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at flu clinics?

  • A large space (the Aquatics Center Lobby) and a 50% reduction in patient capacity per day will allow us to follow infection control and social distancing recommendations.
  • Our staff are required to wear masks at all times, and are screened daily for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All flu clinic attendees are required to have an appointment. This will allow us to maintain control of the environment and correctly follow infection prevention guidelines.
  • All flu clinic attendees are required to wear a mask or face covering at our flu clinics. If you do not have an appropriate mask, we will provide one for you.
  • All flu clinic attendees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the clinic area. People with symptoms will have to reschedule their appointments.
  • Our waiting areas and flu shot stations are arranged to accommodate social distancing.
  • Flu shot stations will be disinfected after each patient.
  • There will be a separate entrance (facing Harvard St SE) and exit (facing University Ave SE) requiring one-way foot traffic.
  • Flu clinic attendees are not allowed to bring guests to their flu shot appointments, with exceptions for interpreters and personal care attendants.

Where will the flu shot clinics be located this year?

Almost all of the Fall 2020 flu shot clinics will be located in the lobby of the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center located at 123 Harvard Street SE. The entrance is adjacent to the main RecWell entrance.

We will also be holding two flu shot clinics in the St. Paul Student Center

Where is the best place to park?

  • For flu shot clinics in the Aquatics Center Lobby: the University Ave Ramp and the Washington Ave Ramp are the closest parking ramps.
  • For flu shot clinics in the St. Paul Student Center: the Gortner Ave Ramp is the closest parking ramp.
  • Parking costs will not be reimbursed.

Why Do We Say “Do It for the Herd!”?

Influenza is a serious, contagious disease. It can become widespread if few people get vaccinated. By getting a flu shot, you protect yourself and help stop the flu from spreading to your family, friends and the community. 

When more people get vaccinated, fewer people get sick. It’s called “herd immunity.” So do it for the herd!

More Frequently Asked Questions

What else do people ask us about the flu and vaccinations? Scroll down to see our most frequently asked questions, and answers.

Questions

Will getting the flu vaccination give me the flu?

You cannot get the flu from the inactivated flu vaccine (injectable vaccine—"flu shot"). This vaccine contains killed influenza virus.

Why should I get a flu vaccination?

Receiving your annual flu vaccination is the best protection against the flu for you, your family and friends, and the community. By getting your flu vaccine, you’re protecting yourself and helping stop the spread of the flu.

Known as community immunity or herd immunity, contagious disease has little opportunity to become widespread if a large number of people in the community are immunized from diseases like the flu. So do it for the herd!

There is also evidence that, if the virus is contracted, an influenza infection is less severe in individuals who received a flu shot compared to those who did not.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you receive the flu vaccine as soon as it is available this fall. Because the flu season typically occurs much later in the season, vaccinations administered throughout the fall and winter months are still considered effective.

Should I get a flu shot even if I think I have already had the flu?

Yes. A flu vaccine is recommended even if someone has had influenza, because the flu vaccine provides protection against four strains of influenza virus.

Who can be vaccinated at a University of Minnesota flu vaccination clinic?

To attend the University's flu clinics, you must be a student, faculty, staff, retired faculty/staff, or a dependent of one of these groups. You also must be 18 years of age or older.

How much will I have to pay at a University of Minnesota flu vaccination clinic?

There is no out-of-pocket cost to students, faculty, staff, retired faculty and staff, or dependents of one of these groups. Flu vaccinations are paid for through a combination of Student Services Fee and funds from Employee Benefits. If you are a student, your insurance may be billed for the vaccination, but you will not have to pay for the vaccination even if your insurance does not cover the cost.

Why is there an online sign-up for flu vaccination clinics?

Our primary goal with online sign-up is to reduce wait times. Online sign-up will allow you to schedule, change, or cancel your appointment at your convenience. In a given year, as many as 20,000 University members receive the flu vaccine. With such a high volume, online appointment scheduling is the fastest, easiest, and most convenient way for you to schedule your flu vaccination.

Can I drop in without an appointment?

No. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, appointments are required for 2020.

What if the appointment date and time that I want is full?

We recommend you schedule an appointment for a date and time that is available, and check back with the online scheduling form later. Appointments may open up as others change or cancel appointments. If your preferred date and time becomes available, you may change your appointment using the online sign-up system.

What if I need to change or cancel my flu vaccination appointment?

You will be able to change your appointment at any time using the online sign-up system.

Will I be able to sign up my dependents using the online sign-up system?

Yes. You will see instructions when you enter the online sign-up system. You must log in using your University x500 credentials to schedule an appointment for your dependents. Please note: Dependents must be 18 years or older to attend the flu vaccination clinics.

Can I sign up my dependents for a different appointment than mine?

Yes. You have the option to schedule all your appointments together or at separate times.

Is this the intranasal vaccine ("flu mist") or the injectable vaccine ("flu shot")?

Injectable vaccine will be the only vaccine available at the University of Minnesota flu vaccination clinics.

If you have a history of fainting or lightheadedness with injections, please make an appointment to receive your flu shot at Boynton Health (612-625-3222).

Do you provide the high-dose flu vaccine for individuals 65 years of age and older?

No, we do not provide the high-dose flu vaccine in our mass clinics or at Boynton Health. If you and your primary care provider believe that you should receive the higher dose, we recommend contacting your primary care clinic or local pharmacy to ask about availability. You are still welcome to attend our clinics and receive the normal dose even if you are older than 65 years of age.

Can I schedule an appointment at Boynton Health exclusively to get my flu vaccination?

Boynton Health is not scheduling appointments in the clinic exclusively for flu vaccinations, unless you are a student who is younger than 18 years old OR you have a history of fainting with injections. If you fall into either of these categories, call the Boynton appointment line at 612-625-3222 to make an appointment.

Does this flu vaccine protect me against H1N1?

Yes. The 2020-21 vaccine includes protection against four different virus strains of the flu, including H1N1. You do not need to get a separate vaccination for H1N1.

Can I get the preservative- and thimerosal-free flu vaccine?

The 2020-21 influenza vaccinations available at Boynton's mass clinics DO NOT contain preservative or thimerosal.

Can I still get my flu vaccine if I'm sick the day of the appointment?

This flu season, to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we ask that you stay home if you are ill. You will be asked to reschedule your flu shot if you are experiencing fever, chills, cough, or shortness of breath on the day of your appointment.

Still have questions?

Contact us at or 612-625-8400.