Public health officials expand free flu shot clinic to general public

Is your family prepared for flu season?

MADISON, Wis. — Starting Tuesday, the Alliant Energy Center’s free drive-thru flu shot clinic will be open to all Dane County residents, regardless of health insurance status.

The clinic was previously only open to Dane County residents who do not have health insurance or who have BadgerCare, Medicaid or Medicare. Public Health Madison & Dane County officials said they decided to make the clinic free to everyone due to the importance of getting vaccinated amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We felt it was important to offer vaccines to people that experience insurance barriers first, but given our current supply of vaccine, we are expanding eligibility to immunize as many people as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Tess Ellens, Public Health Nurse at Public Health Madison & Dane County. “If you have not gotten your flu shot yet this year, we would love to see you here.”

The clinic is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

All adults and children at least 6 months old are eligible to get a free flu shot.

Those in need of a ride to the clinic can call the Public Health Transportation Line at 608-243-0420.

Anyone younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who is authorized to give consent for the flu shot on their behalf, according to a news release.

“With COVID-19 spreading everywhere, the flu shot is especially important this year to not only protect health, but also reduce the burden on hospitals and healthcare systems,” Ellens said. “We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback about the convenience of the drive-thru system and are excited to expand access.”

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks, needs a COVID-19 test or is waiting for COVID-19 test results will not be able to get a flu shot.

Since the clinic opened in early October, public health officials have vaccinated more than 800 people.

The clinic will run until Nov. 21.