Flu Preparedness Information

Page updated on Oct 9, 2020 at 10:28 AM

Protect Yourself, Protect Others: Get a Flu Vaccine Every Year

Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu. The circulating strains of flu are a good match with those included in this year’s vaccine.

If you are pregnant, you can and should receive the flu shot during any trimester. Pregnant women are at high risk of flu-related complications. If immunized during pregnancy, protective antibodies help protect your baby for up to 6 months after birth. For more information on receiving the flu shot while pregnant, visit the CDC’s website.

Where to Get a Flu Shot

Free Flu Clinics

The Alexandria Health Department (AHD) and the City of Alexandria conducted two free flu shot clinics on September 26, and October 3, administering a total of 1,802 flu vaccines. Vaccinations were administered to 962 participants at a walk-up clinic at Francis C. Hammond Middle School and 840 participants at a drive-through clinic at T.C. Williams High School. The clinic was supported by AHD’s Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and staff from multiple City agencies. 

Flu Shot Alternate Locations Flyer imageOther Locations

If you are unable to make it to a flu clinic, you can still receive a flu shot at:

  • Doctor’s offices or clinics

  • Drug stores

  • Grocery stores with a pharmacy

  • The Alexandria Health Department

Regardless of where you receive your flu shot, there are some things you can do to make sure your trip is successful:

  • Call ahead to check that vaccines are still available, and whether an appointment or fees are required

  • If you’re 65 or over, ask whether the provider has the high dose vaccine for seniors

  • Wear a mask on your visit

  • Don’t get the vaccine if you’re sick

For questions, call the Alexandria Health Department at 703.746.4888

The Flu, COVID-19 and You

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different 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 COVID-19 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. 

AHD encourages everyone to get a flu vaccine as an important step for personal and community health. If you are over 65 years old, ask your healthcare provider if the senior, high dose flu shot is available. Bring a pen to complete forms and minimize shared materials. 

For more information, check out the CDC's webpage on the flu and COVID-19.

Prevent the Spread of Germs: Cover Coughs and Sneezes

  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve. This prevents germs from getting on your hands, which then leave germs on the things you touch (door knobs, hand rails, light switches, etc). Flu can survive on these surfaces for several hours!

  • If you use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

Stay Home When You are Sick

  • If you or your child has a fever, stay home! You or your child should be fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to work or school. A fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine (like Tylenol)

  • If you are sick, do not visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, or any facility housing the elderly and/or anyone in frail health. People with certain health conditions are more likely to have complications that result in hospitalization or even death. Limiting contact with others as much as possible while you are sick keeps you from infecting them.

Wash Your Hands

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Stay informed