Flu (Influenza)

Small sized screen shot of the influenza dashboard

Click here to view the Baltimore City Health Department's Influenza Vaccination Public Dashboard

Disclaimer: Please note when comparing data between flu seasons that a mandate requiring all vaccinations in the State of Maryland to be reported to ImmuNet (Maryland's Immunization Information System) did not go into effect until October 2019.  Where data are displayed for vaccination by race and ethnicity, vaccinations and coverage rates are calculated for the total number of vaccinations for which race and ethnicity are known. Data on race and ethnicity are not available for all individuals vaccinated – please note the proportion of missing data for race and ethnicity displayed on the dashboard.

The Baltimore City Health Department needs your help in reaching the goal of 70% of Baltimore City residents vaccinated against the flu this year!

As of November 10th, 18% of Baltimore residents have received their flu shot, according to Immunet. 

18% Thermometer Graphic

Where Can I Get the Flu Vaccine in Baltimore City?

Click the symbols on the map to learn about various locations for influenza vaccination. Please call a pharmacy location before visiting to confirm influenza vaccines are available. Click on a location's symbol to see the phone number. The information in this map is current as of October 26, 2020, and is subject to change. Please note this map is not a complete list of influenza vaccination sites.

Free Influenza Vaccination Clinics Open to the Public

Baltimore City Health Department T.I.K.E. Clinic
1200 E Fayette Street, Baltimore MD 21202
Monday - Thursday, 10am-2:00pm, Ongoing
Requirements:  Flu shots by appointment only.  Call 410-396-4454, or complete your registration at http://www.marylandvax.org.


BCHD Clinic at Church of Christ
4301 Woodridge Road, Baltimore, MD 21229
Saturday, November 28th, 9:00 am - 12:00pm

Requirements: No appointment needed, masks required,  if insured bring health insurance card, free for those that are uninsured

BCHD Clinic at Israel Baptist Church

1220 N Chester St, Baltimore, MD 21213
Saturday, November 28th, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Requirements: No appointment needed, masks required,  if insured bring health insurance card, free for those that are uninsured

BCHD Clinic at City of Abraham Church and Ministries
1124 W North Ave, Baltimore Maryland 21217
Saturday, December 5th, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Requirements: No appointment needed, masks required,  if insured bring health insurance card, free for those that are uninsured


Will my insurance cover the flu shot?

Adapted from: https://www.hhs.gov/answers/affordable-care-act/will-the-aca-cover-my-flu-shot/index.html
Flu and other vaccines are required to be covered by your health insurance without charging a copayment or coinsurance. Be sure to check with your insurance company to find out if you must go to a specific facility to receive the vaccine, some insurance plans only cover vaccines given by your doctor or at a limited set of locations.

Why should I get the flu vaccine?

  • The flu vaccine can keep you from getting sick with the flu.
  • The flu vaccine can reduce the risk of having to go to the hospital because of the flu.
  • The flu vaccine is an important tool to protect people with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.
  • The flu vaccine helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
  • The flu vaccine can help save the lives of infants and children.
  • The flu vaccine can still people who get vaccinated but still get the flu. They will likely get less sick than if they got no vaccine.

CDC Estimates that 38-54 million flu illnesses since October 2019 and up to 62 thousands deaths

What is the Flu?

Flu is a respiratory illness spread by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Flu can make people a little sick or very sick. Sometimes, the flu can lead to death. The best way to not get the flu is by getting your flu vaccine each year.

Flu Symptoms

Flu can make you a little sick or very sick. Flu sometimes leads to death. Flu is NOT the same as a cold. Flu usually comes on quickly. With the flu, people often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills (But, not everyone with flu will have a fever.)
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • vomiting and diarrhea for some people (usually more common in children).

How Flu Spreads

  • Flu viruses mainly spread when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are close by.
  • Less often, a person might get flu by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

People at risk of severe illness from flu

  • Adults age 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with asthma
  • People with heart disease or history of stroke
  • People with diabetes
  • People living with HIV
  • People with cancer
  • People with chronic kidney disease 

Adapted from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm

Flu and COVID-19 

What is the difference between the flu and COVID-19?

Flu and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses that spread among people. But flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses. Flu is caused by influenza viruses, but COVID-19 is caused by a new virus (called SARS-CoV-2). Flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms so it may be hard to tell the difference. You may need tests for your doctor to know whether you have flu or COVID-19.

Will there be flu along with COVID-19 in the fall and winter?

Yes.  Likely flu and COVID-19 will both be spreading. It is more important than ever for all people 6 months and older to get their flu vaccine.

Can I have flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

Yes. It is possible to have flu and COVID-19 at the same time. It is also possible to have other respiratory illnesses at the same time as COVID-19.

Is COVID-19 more dangerous than flu?

Flu and COVID-19 can both cause people to get very sick. In some cases, flu or COVID-19 can lead to hospitalization or death. While we are still learning about COVID-19, it does seem that COVID-19 is more deadly than seasonal flu.

Will a flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

No. Getting a flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19. However, the flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.

Does a flu vaccination increase my risk of getting COVID-19?

No. There is no evidence that the flu vaccine increases your risk of getting COVID-19.

Adapted from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm

Getting a flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic

If COVID-19 is spreading in my community, should I still go out to get a flu vaccine?

Yes. Getting a flu vaccine is essential to protect your health and your family’s health this season. When getting a flu vaccine, follow CDC’s guideline for running essential errands and doctor visits. Continue to wear your mask, keep at least six feet away from others, and wash your hands.

If I want to get a flu vaccine, where is the safest place for me to get a flu vaccine?

You can safely get a flu vaccine at many places including pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and health departments. Use the flu vaccine locator map to find where to get a flu vaccine near you. When going to get a flu vaccine, continue to wear your mask, keep at least six feet away from others, and wash your hands.

When should I get a flu vaccine this year?

The CDC still recommends getting the flu vaccine in September or October are good times. However, as flu viruses continue to spread, you can get the vaccine after October, even in January or later.

Adapted from  https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm

Vaccine Safety

Flu vaccines are very safe. Like any medicine, vaccines can have side effects. Most people have no side effects from the flu vaccine. The most common side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.

Common Minor Side Effects of Flu Vaccine:

  • Sore or itching arm from the shot
  • Hoarseness or cough
  • Sore, red, or itchy eyes
  • Fever, aches, headache, or fatigue

Young children who get inactivated flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine at the same time may have a higher risk of having seizures caused by fever. Tell your doctor if your child has ever had a seizure.

Severe allergic reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at less than 1 in a million doses. Such reaction usually happens within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination

More information can be found on our Flu Vaccines Frequently Asked Questions page

For Providers: Register and Report to ImmuNet 

Since October 1, 2019, the Maryland Department of Health has mandated that all vaccines provided in Maryland are reported to ImmuNet, regardless of patient opt-out status in ImmuNet (Maryland statute Health General §18-109). Distribution of future COVID-19 vaccines will require healthcare providers to be registered in ImmuNet.

We encourage you to register and begin reporting the administration of vaccines through ImmuNet, if you have not already done so. Registration is free, and more information on ImmuNet registration, the process of reporting vaccinations, and the Help Desk contact information can be found here: https://www.mdimmunet.org/.