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How to Get a Free or Cheap Flu Shot in 2020

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arm with sleeve rolled up in preparation for a shot

Protect your crew from getting the flu!😷

Reports are saying that we could be in for a rough flu season this year, with many healthcare systems already strained by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The CDC is recommending that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot with rare exceptions.

Did you know that there is a flu shot for people with egg allergies? Some influenza vaccines licensed for use every year are manufactured without the use of eggs. Learn more about the CDC’s recommendations for persons with egg allergies here.

arm getting a shot

While it’s impossible to predict exactly when flu season will begin this year, the CDC recommends that you get your shot in the early fall, and no later than the end of October for maximum protection. It’s best to get the flu shot before the flu begins spreading in your community since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and provide protection.

Luckily, flu prevention doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Read on to find out how (and where) you can save money on flu shots – and even possibly get them for free!

get a flu shot at CVS pharmacy

Your flu shot may be free!

If you have health insurance or a public health insurance exchange, your health insurance is now required to pay for your flu shot without any co-pay (when given by an in-network provider). If you are over the age of 65, Medicare Part B covers the cost of flu shots as well.

Be sure to check with your employer or university to see if they will be offering free flu shots and/or clinics this year. Many do offer this service because it’s in their best interest to keep you healthy!

Additionally, many county health departments offer free flu shots to children and the elderly, and they often extend this service to everyone, especially during a bad flu season. Be sure to check your local county or city’s website for more information about their health program.

Costco offering affordable flu shots

No insurance? Here are some places to get a flu shot:

Although pharmacists can now administer the flu shot to children as young as 3, we found that some still have an older minimum age requirement. We listed the age ranges as confirmed by phone with each location but found that the minimum age requirement can vary quite a bit, even within the same company. If you have young children, we recommend calling ahead to ensure that the pharmacist will give them a flu shot.

Note that most of the prices listed below reflect the cost of a seasonal quadrivalent (4-strain) flu shot, recommended for people between the ages of 6 months and 64 years of age. The high-dose flu shot recommended for persons 65 and older is often priced differently. Please contact your local flu shot provider to verify the cost in your area.

  • Costco: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $19.99 without insurance. NO Costco membership is required.
  • Sam’s Club: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $38 without insurance (ages 6-64). NO Sam’s Club membership is required, although members do receive a discount.
  • CVS: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $39.99 without insurance (ages 3-64). Plus, get a $5 off $20 purchase coupon with a no-cost flu shot, covered by most insurance plans.
  • Kroger: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $40 without insurance (ages 18-64).
  • Meijer: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $35.99 without insurance (ages 7-64).
  • Publix: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $48 without insurance (ages 4-64). Plus, get a $10 Publix Gift Card when you get your flu shot at the Publix Pharmacy.
  • Rite Aid: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $39.99 without insurance (ages 3-64).
  • Safeway: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $45 without insurance (ages 9-64). Plus, get 10% off your next grocery purchase with any immunization.
  • Target: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $39.99 without insurance (ages 3-64) at the CVS Pharmacy inside Target. Plus, get a $5 Target coupon with a no-cost flu shot, covered by most insurance plans.
  • Walgreens: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for $40.99 without insurance (ages 4-64). Plus, get a coupon for $5 off your next $15 purchase when you get a flu shot through 9/12.
  • Walmart: Get a seasonal 4-strain flu shot for just $39.88 without insurance (ages 6-64).

Man using GoodRX App on phone

Looking for more places to get a flu shot near you?

In addition to your primary care physician, many urgent care facilities and locally-owned grocery stores and pharmacies also offer flu shots that are free under most insurance plans, or reasonably priced for anyone without insurance. If you’re paying out of pocket, download the FREE GoodRX app and use it to find coupons for discounted flu shots in your area.

The CDC is also expected to have a vaccine finder operational on its website by September 1. When this widget goes live & functional, you’ll be able to search for all the vaccines in your area (including influenza) based on the age of the recipient and immunization desired.


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