Public Health Madison & Dane County: Will provide free drive through flu shots

On October 6, Public Health Madison & Dane County is opening a free drive through flu clinic at the Alliant Energy Center to help ensure that everyone in Dane County can be vaccinated against the flu. The clinic is for Dane County adults and children 6 months and older who do not have health insurance, and Dane County children 6 months and older who are on BadgerCare or Medicaid. The clinic is being run in partnership with UW School of Nursing and Edgewood School of Nursing.

Getting sick with influenza is not desirable in any given year, but 2020 is not a typical year.

There is growing concern that in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming flu season could cause a “twindemic,” resulting in severe illness and an overwhelmed healthcare system. Public Health recommends that everyone who is able to get a flu shot, get one as soon as possible.

Details for Alliant Energy Center Drive Through Flu Shots:

·       1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, WI 53713

  • Free flu shots will be available for Dane County adults and children 6 months and older who do not have insurance, and Dane County children 6 months and older who have BadgerCare or Medicaid.
  • Open:

o   Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00pm to 8:00pm

o   Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm

·       Closed on Sundays and Mondays

  • No ID is needed.
  • Immigration status is not asked.
  • Interpreters are available.

·       Free transportation is available for those that need it by calling the Public Health Transportation Line at (608) 243-0420.

·       Anyone younger than 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian authorized to give consent for the flu shot on their behalf. 

·       Plan to wait 15 minutes after receiving a flu shot to monitor for any possible side effects. 

·       People who are experiencing symptoms, were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, need a COVID test, or are waiting for results from a COVID-19 test will not be able to get a flu shot.

  • If possible, wear clothing that will make the upper arm available for the vaccine. For children under the age of 5, their upper thigh needs to be accessible. Children can stay in their car seat while receiving the vaccine.

“We’re so happy to be able to provide flu shots alongside the COVID testing site that’s already proven to be really convenient for members of our community,” says Sarah Hughes, Immunization Coordinator for Public Health Madison & Dane County. “We’re making this as easy as COVID testing, with the ability to get your shot without even having to leave your car,” adds Hughes. As with COVID-19 testing at Alliant Energy Center, people may also arrive by bike or on foot and be vaccinated.

“While the flu clinic is running alongside the COVID testing site, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to get a flu shot and a COVID test on the same day,” continues Hughes. “This is part of the guidance set forth by the CDC for this flu season,” says Hughes.

There is no vaccine for COVID-19, but there is a safe, effective vaccine to prevent the flu.

“We know that getting the flu makes you more susceptible to other illnesses like COVID-19, so if you’re concerned about that virus, you should be concerned about the flu too. We’re especially concerned for those who are already disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” says Hughes. 

“Our goal is for everyone in Dane County to get a flu shot, and to get it early, before flu starts to circulate in our community. This is how we can prevent a twindemic. While flu shots are readily available through clinics and pharmacies, our hope is that adding this flu clinic, free of charge, for our community members who lack insurance coverage will help make our goal possible,” continues Hughes.  

The drive through flu clinic will operate until November 21st, or when the vaccine supply runs out. 

People with insurance can call their provider or get a flu shot from one of many pharmacies in Dane County.