Flu FAQs

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

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!


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!

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 flu vaccine covers four types of influenza.

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. There are no priority groups or broad restrictions related to who can get the flu vaccine this fall.

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?

Yes, drop-ins are welcome! However, you may experience a short wait time if you attend on a drop-in basis.

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. Also, you may choose to drop in to a clinic during your preferred date and time. You may, however, experience a short wait when dropping into a clinic.

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.

How can dependents sign up for a flu shot?

To sign up a dependent, please create a profile for the dependent on the online sign-up system. 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 in the clinic.

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 under 17 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.

Can I get my flu vaccination at the Employee Benefits Fair?

Yes! Flu vaccinations will be administered in conjunction with the Employee Benefits Fair on November 6 (Coffman Memorial Union) and November 7 (St. Paul Student Center).

Does this flu vaccine protect me against H1N1?

Yes. The 2018-19 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 2018-19 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?

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms on the day of your appointment, it is recommended that you stay home and take these steps to take care of yourself. Otherwise, you can come to your appointment and a nurse will assess if you are well enough to receive the vaccine.

Still have questions?

Contact us at or 612-625-8400.