ST. LOUIS – SSM Health has been offering opportunities on Saturdays for people to get their flu shot, setting up many locations in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Fall clinics started on Saturday, Sept. 24 and will last until Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to noon.
Clinics are taking place at the following hospital campus locations:
- SSM Health St. Clare Hospital – Fenton
- SSM Health DePaul Hospital – St. Louis
- SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital
These are the public drive-thru clinics open every Saturday from 8 a.m – noon:
- North County: 1120 Shackelford Road Florissant, MO 63031
- South County: 5252 S Lindbergh Blvd Saint Louis, MO 63126
- Central/City: 1035 Bellevue Ave Saint Louis, MO 63117 (garage off Ethel and Bellevue)
- West, St. Charles: 400 First Capital Drive St. Charles, MO 63301
- West, Wentzville: 1603 Wentzville Parkway Wentzville, MO 63385
The South County location is open every Wednesday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. through October, and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your changes of being diagnosed with the virus or spreading it to others.
James Wingbermuehle, 12, may have needed his mom to drive him to the South County location, but he tells FOX 2 getting vaccinated was all his decision.
“I wanted to stay safe from the virus,” Wingbermuehle said.
The Wingbermuehles and dozens of families lined up in their cars Saturday morning to get their flu shots/or COVID-19 boosters. James got both.
Dr. Kristina Anderson practices family medicine at SSM Health in Arnold. She suggests getting vaccinated before the end of October if you can.
“Flu season typically runs about October to April, but we have seen as late as June,” she said. “Last year the flu season peaked around February, so we have a couple different peaks potentially. This year we’re not really fully able to predict how our flu season is going to go because we’re kind of getting back to pre-covid times.”
Flu shots take two weeks to take effect and last about six months, according to medical experts. While they can’t full protect you from getting the virus, Dr. Anderson said the vaccine reduces your risk of being hospitalized, the severity of your symptoms and the amount of time you stay sick.
“It’s a big tool in staying healthy over the winter,” Dr. Anderson said.
“Being a stay-at-home mom, I don’t have anyone to watch my kids if I get sick, so the idea is to not get sick,” Renee Barmeier, a mother of two, said. “Whatever I can do to help prevent catching anything this season is gold.
Most people six months and older are eligible to get a flu shot. You do need to bring your insurance card in order to receive a free vaccine at any of the SSM locations.