Flu Prevention

The Health Department encourages people of all ages to get a seasonal flu shot from a healthcare provider, local pharmacy, retailer or big box store. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school (even virtual school) due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Seasonal flu graphic (CDC)

The Howard County Health Department will update the list below with upcoming community flu clinics. The annual flu vaccine is also available from most local healthcare providers, pharmacies, urgent care centers and many large retail locations.

If enrolled in Medicare, please have your Medicare number available when attending any HCHD flu vaccination clinic. There will be no charge to you, and by allowing HCHD to recover a portion of the vaccination cost from Medicare you help us extend our services to even more community members to keep Howard County healthy.

Flu Vaccine Clinic Location Date & Time Registration

Wilde Lake Interfaith Center
10431 Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia, MD 21044

Oct. 15
12:00p - 4:00p

Click here to register 
Appointment required

Hope Bible Church
9112 Guilford Rd., Columbia, MD 21046
Oct. 29
10:00a - 2:00p
Walk-ups Welcome
No registration required
Centennial Park- Centennial Ln. Columbia
Every Step Counts Autism Walk & 5K
Nov. 19
Flu and COVID Booster Clinic
Click here to register
Appointment required
Howard County Health Department
8930 Stanford Blvd., Columbia, MD 21045


Starting 10/17

Monday - Friday
9:00a - 3:30p

Walk-ins Welcome
No registration required
Call 410-313-7500 to confirm availability

When registering for an appointment at a flu clinic, the first set of questions that come up are for COVID-19 shots. You will need to answer all of COVID-19 questions before moving on to the next page. The system does not allow you to skip the COVID-19 questions when the clinic is both COVID-19 and flu. Once you answer those questions then you can select flu as the vaccine you want to receive and can continue signing up for an appointment 

Are you a senior who needs a ride to your flu shot? Neighbor Ride provides a FREE ride to your chosen provider. For more information, visit neighborride.org/freeride or call 410-884-RIDE (7433)

The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get your seasonal flu vaccine.
Flu Prevention Tips

Flu prevention tips:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands. (Or cough or sneeze into the bend in your elbow.)
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.

More information:

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.

  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from getting sick. People with the flu should stay away from others for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-lowering medicine.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Make sure to put used tissues in the trash after one use.
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also work.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Germs spread this way.
  • Get plenty of sleep, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
What is the difference between the Flu and COVID-19?

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.  Click HERE to view the CDC Flu vs. COVID-19 page

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

Yes. It is possible have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be.

Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.

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

According to the CDC, individuals do not need to wait between COVID-19 and flu vaccines. It's safe and convenient to get both at the same time. For more information, click here.

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