Flu Shots

Arm with band-aid

The best way to protect yourself from getting the flu is to receive a flu shot. The vaccine is safe and effective. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment encourages everyone over the age of six months to get the flu shot.

Seasonal flu shots (quadrivalent) are now available for adults and children over the age of 6 months. The high-dose flu vaccine is available for adults ages 65 and older. Flu vaccines are given on a walk-in basis only at our walk-in immunization clinics in Olathe and Mission. Wait times will vary. Most insurance plans, Medicare Part B and Medicaid cover the cost of the flu vaccine. If you don't have insurance, the cost of the seasonal flu vaccine is $45. The high-dose flu shot is $90 for those without insurance.

JCDHE is a Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) provider. The program provides free vaccines to children ages 18 and younger with a $20 administration fee per vaccine. Find out if your child is eligible for the VFC program.

JCDHE is a KanCare provider for all managed care organizations: Aetna Better Health of Kansas, Sunflower and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. JCDHE also accepts private insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, Ambetter, Cigna, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Medicare Part B and Part D. We do not accept insurance from any Medicare HMO plans. Check your health benefit plan to confirm coverage for payment of services. Cash, check or credit card payment is also accepted for those without insurance or who carry other insurance plans.

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Flu Shot FAQs

What is a flu shot?

The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. Flu vaccine causes antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection from the viruses that are in the vaccine.

The seasonal flu shot protects against four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Egg-based, cell-based, and recombinant flu vaccines are also available from some providers.

Who should and who should NOT get a flu shot?

Everyone 6 months of age and older, with rare exceptions, should get a flu shot every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza infection. View this list of people who should and who should not get the flu shot.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions about which influenza vaccine is best for you and your family.

Should people with an egg allergy (of any severity) get a flu vaccine?

Beginning with the 2023-2024 flu season, additional safety measures are no longer recommended for people who are allergic to eggs. Any flu vaccine (egg-based or non-egg-based) that is otherwise appropriate for the recipient’s age and health status can be used.

How effective is the flu vaccine?

Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary from year to year and among different age and risk groups. For more information about vaccine effectiveness, visit How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work?

What are the risks of getting a flu vaccine?

The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. The risk of a flu shot causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, may rarely cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. Almost all people who get the influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. Learn more about flu vaccine safety.

What are the side effects that could occur?

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever (low grade)
  • Aches

If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last one to two days. These side effects are mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of influenza infection.

What should I do if I have had a serious reaction to the influenza vaccine?

  • Call a doctor, or get to a doctor right away
  • Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when you got the flu shot
  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)* form, or call VAERS at 1-800-822-7967.