Free Shots

Prevent the worries you can with free COVID vaccines and flu shots.

Everyday life can be stressful. But protecting yourself against COVID and flu is a simple way to take two worries off your mind.

It’s safe to get both COVID and flu shots at the same time. They’re free, whether you have insurance or not. And they’ll help keep you and those close to you healthy.

Find a COVID and flu vaccine provider near you.

Click below to find the locations and hours of the clinics closest to you. For additional vaccine locations please visit vaccines.gov.

You can find a schedule for the district health offices by visiting MarionHealth.org/immunize, or by calling (317) 221-2122.

The Marion County Public Health Department offers the COVID and flu vaccine on a walk-in basis for ages 12 and older at these Indianapolis Public Library branch locations:

Every Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Every Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The COVID and flu vaccine is also available for ages 12 and older at the IndyGo Carson Transit Center, 201 E. Washington Street, each Tuesday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Walk-ins only.

Visit vaccines.gov to search for additional vaccine clinic locations in or near your community.

What do I need to bring with me to the clinic?

If you have already received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine

Please bring the COVID Vaccination Record Card that was given to you then. If you need to obtain a vaccination certificate, you can get one through Access Indiana. (If you don’t already have an Access Indiana account, you will need to create one.)

If you can’t find your COVID Vaccination Record Card, and don’t have access to the internet, we can look your card up for you when you come in for your shots.

Insurance cards

If you have an insurance card, we’d like you to bring it. But it’s not necessary. If you don’t have insurance, we want you to come anyway (and again, your shots and vaccines will be free).

Children 6 months to 15 years old

If a child 6 months to 15 years old is coming, they’ll need to bring an adult with them. If that adult is not their parent or guardian, consent from a parent or guardian must be submitted in advance.

Children aged 16 or 17 years old

Ideally, children aged 16 or 17 will also bring a parent or guardian with them. But if that’s not possible, a parent or guardian may provide written or verbal authorization.

Which COVID vaccine
should you get?

Vaccine or booster? Moderna, Pfizer, or Novavax? We know it can be confusing.

Once you arrive at a clinic, you can ask the staff which vaccine option is right for you. If you’d rather get more information right now, you can visit this CDC page to learn more. Or you can stay right here and keep on reading.

You need to get your primary series of vaccinations before you can get any booster. There are currently four COVID vaccines approved or authorized in the United States, and all can help prevent people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, or dying.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Novavax

The CDC recommends the top three vaccine choices over the J&J Janssen vaccine, due to concerns about J&J Janssen vaccine’s possible adverse effects. However, if you are 18 or over and strongly allergic to all other vaccines, J&J Janssen may still be an option for you.

  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J Janssen)

It may be time for an updated booster. These boosters are bivalent, which means they protect against the original virus that causes COVID and the newer Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.

COVID vaccine recommendations are based on three things:

1. Your age
2. The vaccine you first received
3. The length of time since your last dose

Check the table below to see if you’re ready for a bivalent booster.

NOTE: If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised, the CDC offers different recommendations for COVID vaccines.

1st Dose:

Primary Series

 

Vaccine:

Pfizer-BioNTech

2nd Dose:

Primary Series, 3-8 weeks after 1st dose

 

Vaccine:

Pfizer-BioNTech

3rd Dose:

Updated/Bivalent Booster

 

Vaccine:

At least 2 months after 2nd primary dose or last booster, this age group can receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster.

 

Up-to-Date:

This age group is up-to-date immediately after receiving the most recent booster recommended.

1st Dose:

Primary Series

 

Vaccine:

Pfizer-BioNTech

2nd Dose:

Primary Series, 3-8 weeks after 1st dose

 

Vaccine:

Pfizer-BioNTech

3rd Dose:

Updated/Bivalent Booster

 

Vaccine:

At least 2 months after 2nd primary dose, children aged 5 years can ONLY get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster. Children aged 6 to 11 years can get either a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster.

 

Up-to-Date:

This age group is up-to-date immediately after receiving the most recent booster recommended.

1st Dose:

Primary Series

 

Vaccine:

Pfizer-BioNTech

2nd Dose:

Primary Series, 3-8 weeks after 1st dose

 

Vaccine:

Pfizer-BioNTech

3rd Dose:

Updated/Bivalent Booster

 

Vaccine:

At least 2 months after 2nd primary dose or last booster, this age group can receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster.

 

Up-to-Date:

This age group is up-to-date immediately after receiving the most recent booster recommended.

1st Dose:

Primary Series

 

Vaccine:

Pfizer-BioNTech

2nd Dose:

Primary Series, 3-8 weeks after 1st dose

 

Vaccine:

Pfizer-BioNTech

3rd Dose:

Updated/Bivalent Booster

 

Vaccine:

At least 2 months after 2nd primary dose or last booster, this age group can receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster.

 

Up-to-Date:

This age group is up-to-date immediately after receiving the most recent booster recommended.

1st Dose:

Primary Series

 

Vaccine:

Moderna

2nd Dose:

Primary Series, 4-8 weeks after 1st dose

 

Vaccine:

Moderna

3rd Dose:

Updated/Bivalent Booster

 

Vaccine:

At least 2 months after 2nd primary dose or last booster, this age group can receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster.

 

Up-to-Date:

This age group is up-to-date immediately after receiving the most recent booster recommended.

1st Dose:

Primary Series

 

Vaccine:

Novavax

2nd Dose:

Primary Series, 3-8 weeks after 1st dose

 

Vaccine:

Novavax

3rd Dose:

Updated/Bivalent Booster

 

Vaccine:

At least 2 months after 2nd primary dose or last booster, this age group can receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster. (A non-bivalent Novovax booster is also available in limited situations.)

Up-to-Date:

This age group is up-to-date immediately after receiving the most recent booster recommended.

1st Dose:

Primary Series

 

Vaccine:

J&J/Janssen

2rd Dose:

Updated/Bivalent Booster

 

Vaccine:

At least 2 months after 2nd primary dose, this age group can receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster. (A non-bivalent J&J/Janssen booster is also available in limited situations.)

Up-to-Date:

This age group is up-to-date immediately after receiving the most recent booster recommended.

How soon should you get the 2nd dose in your primary series?

People aged 6 months to 64 years (and especially males aged 12 to 39 years) may consider getting their 2nd primary Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax 8 weeks after the 1st dose (although waiting longer between doses may increase how much protection the vaccines offer).

People aged 65 years or older (or people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID, or people exposed to high levels of community transmission) should get their second dose of:

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

3 weeks (or 21 days) after their first dose.

Moderna vaccine

4 weeks (or 28 days) after their first dose.

Novavax vaccine

3 weeks (or 21 days) after their first dose.

Should you mix vaccines in your primary series?

CDC does not recommend mixing products during your primary series of vaccinations. If you got Pfizer-BioNTech for your 1st dose, you should get Pfizer-BioNTech for your 2nd dose. Same goes for Moderna or Novavax.

Should you mix vaccines for your booster?

It depends on age group and what vaccine was used during the primary series of vaccinations. For more complete information, visit this CDC page.

Children aged 5 – Pfizer

Children aged 5 who have completed the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series should only get the updated/bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

Children aged 5 – Moderna

Children aged 5 who have completed the Moderna primary series can get a different product for their updated/bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

People aged 6 and Older

People aged 6 years and older can get a different product for their updated/bivalent booster than they got for their primary series or last booster.

Below are answers to questions you may have if you:

Feel nervous about getting COVID and flu shots at the same time

According to this CDC page, studies and clinical trials indicate that getting your COVID vaccine and flu shot at the same time is safe – and saves you time at the clinic.

Aren’t sure whether you need a flu shot

The flu kills tens of thousands of Americans every year and many more people are hospitalized. This year’s flu season is shaping up to be the worst in over a decade. Symptoms of the flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though those are more common in children. Even if you happen to get a mild case, it’s no fun.

It’s never too late. Typically, the CDC recommends getting your flu shot in September or October for the best protection throughout flu season. But vaccination after October still provides important protection as flu season peaks.

No. A flu vaccine contains an inactive virus, which teaches your body to produce antibodies. So in case you actually do catch the flu later, you’ll have antibodies ready to fight the disease.

No, flu shots are not dangerous at any stage of pregnancy. In fact, they’re more important than ever. Pregnant women have weakened immune systems, and a shot can offer more protection.

Aren’t sure about the COVID vaccine yet

Vaccine ingredients vary by manufacturer. None of the vaccines contain eggs, gelatin, latex, or preservatives. All COVID vaccines are free from metals, such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys. They are also free from manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, and nanowire semiconductors. None of the COVID vaccines authorized or approved in the United States contain any live virus.

That’s hard to predict because effects vary from person to person. Some people have no side effects at all. Other people experience symptoms that can include sore arms, a mild fever, or a rash. But all those side effects typically disappear within a few days (and they’re proof that your body is building antibodies to fight future illness). In any case, a day or two of mild discomfort is better than suffering through a week or more of COVID.

Yes. Children 6 months and older are eligible for a COVID vaccination. Please see the table earlier on this page for primary series and boosters suggested for different age groups.

Yes. An adult must accompany children 6 months to 15 years old to any vaccine appointment. If the adult present is not the child’s parent or guardian, consent must be submitted in advance.

It’s also preferred that a parent or guardian accompany children aged 16 or 17—but if this is not possible, the parent or guardian can provide written or verbal authorization.

Yes. People who already had COVID and do not get vaccinated after their recovery are actually more likely to get COVID again than those who get vaccinated after their recovery.

Even if you’re in great shape, you should still get vaccinated. For the best protection, the CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 6 months get vaccinated against COVID. Remember, this vaccination doesn’t just protect you. It can help protect your family, friends and loved ones, too.

Yes. For the best protection, anyone above 6 months of age should stay up to date with their COVID vaccinations by getting a booster. As of September 2022, an updated new bivalent version of the COVID booster was released. The bivalent booster protects against both the original virus that causes COVID and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.

It’s different for everyone, but your reaction to a booster shot is likely to be similar to the reaction you had to your primary series of vaccinations. According to the CDC, mild to moderate side effects reported include fever, headache, tiredness, and pain at the injection site.

Are an immigrant or person of color in the Indianapolis community

In the past, the government hasn’t always made it easy for immigrants and people of color to get access to good health care. Some neighborhoods have had few pharmacies. Others have had none.

Today, we’re working to bring health care to every person, in every neighborhood. That’s what this effort is all about. By getting free vaccinations now, you can help to change health outcomes for your entire community.

Finally, the seemingly quick development of the first COVID vaccines in 2020 made some people believe that they were rushed. After two years of COVID, the CDC has been able to study and prove the effectiveness of those vaccines—and scientists have worked hard to make updated versions of vaccines more effective than ever against new variants.

Yes. The CDC has stated that COVID vaccines are available to anyone—including undocumented immigrants—regardless of their citizenship status.

Yes. Federal law and civil rights protections ensure that people with limited English language skills are entitled to interpretation or translation services to help them communicate with healthcare providers receiving federal funding.

We can’t say for sure. Some providers might. But even if they do, the federal Health Resources & Services Administration states that no one is required to provide identification to get vaccinated for COVID. The CDC has also stated that, since vaccines are now widely available, proof of state residency is not required for vaccination.

If a provider insists that you must show identification, we suggest you leave and find another vaccine clinic near you. If you suspect that federal health policies are being violated, you can submit a complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General.

The sooner you act, the sooner you’ll be protected against COVID and flu.

If you need assistance scheduling an appointment at a MCPHD location, please call
MCPHD’s appointment assistance team between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at
(317) 460-5807 or (317) 460-9649.