Where to Get Free or Inexpensive Flu Shots


Where to Get Free or Inexpensive Flu Shots

Health Insurance.The Flu
RxSaver Editors
By RxSaver Editors
Oct 18, 2018 - Updated Oct 12, 2020
Where to Get Free or Inexpensive Flu Shots

Ah-choo! Flu season has begun, which means it’s time to devise a battle plan for your immune system. One option at your disposal is to get a flu shot. It’s a move that could protect you and others while also saving you money and long days stuck sick in bed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says when it comes to preventing seasonal flu, the best tactic is to get vaccinated. And that each year, the flu results in about 200,000 people being hospitalized for flu-related complications.

Flu activity starts increasing in October, with peak season hitting between December and February. Because it takes about two weeks for flu-fighting antibodies to develop in the body after vaccination, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated early in the fall. However, getting vaccinated later can still be beneficial. This year’s vaccine has been updated to better match the circulating strains of flu virus we’re most likely to encounter, and the CDC suggests that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot.

RxSaver may help you save on the cost of your flu shot, search below to determine flu shot pricing in your area.

Save On Your Flu Shot at CVS

Free Coupon. No Insurance Needed.

Show Coupon

6 Places to Get Free or Inexpensive Flu Shots

We’ve compiled a list of the places where you can get your flu shot at zero or low cost. To find the vaccine provider closest to you, enter your ZIP code at VaccineFinder.org.

1. At your doctor’s office through your health insurance

Your primary care doctor is a good place to obtain your flu shot for several reasons. Your health insurance is now required to pay for your flu shot without any copayment due to the Affordable Care Act (when given by an in-network provider). If you are 65 or older, Medicare Part B covers one shot per flu season. Also, most state Medicaid agencies cover the cost of flu shots for Medicaid participants. Another benefit is that your doctor can give you information about the shot, and weigh in on whether or not it is an appropriate option for you.

2. At your employer

Having you take multiple sick days isn’t high on your company’s priority list. That’s why many corporations offer free flu shots (sometimes, to family members as well) at the office or provide vouchers you can take to local pharmacies. Ask your human resource department for more information.

3. At the county health department

Several county health departments offer free flu shots to children and the elderly. Check with your local health department to see what it provides.

4. At urgent care centers

Contact your local urgent care centers about flu shots. This option is particularly helpful if you can’t make it to your regular doctor during 9-to-5 business hours. Many urgent care centers offer flu shots for free if you have insurance.

5. At a pharmacy

Many pharmacies offer flu shots in-house. Some also offer coupons and gift cards to encourage you to get your flu shot there. Note: Prices below are how much you’ll pay if you’re uninsured. If you have insurance, the flu shot might be free or discounted.

Pharmacy Price With Insurance* Cash Price for Quadrivalent Vaccine Cash Price for High Dose
Costco $0.00 $19.99 $46.68
CVS $0.00 $39.99 or $37 using RxSaver Coupon! $69.99
Walgreens $0.00 $40.00 $72.99-$81.99
Walmart $0.00 $36.88-$39.99 $75.00
Meijer $0.00 $35.99 $69.99-$70.00
Rite Aid $0.00 $40.00 $79.00
Sam's Club $0.00 $39.99 $69-$71
Target $0.00 $39.99-$49.99 $69.99
Kroger $0.00 $35.99-$36.00 $70.00

*If you are covered by health insurance, your flu shot might be free but you will need to confirm with your health coverage and pharmacy directly to ensure the cost prior to getting the vaccine administered.

Some retailers like Sam's Club and Costco may offer a discount on the flu vaccine if you have a membership with their store. In addition, some pharmacies might also have specific coupons or incentives that could lower the price of the vaccine. It's important to check with your local pharmacy to determine the exact cost before getting your flu shot.

Note: The quadrivalent flu vaccine is designed to protect against four different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The high-dose vaccine is licensed specifically for people 65 years and older and contains four times the antigen (the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses) of standard-dose flu shots.

6. At a university

If you’re a student, check with your campus health clinic. Most offer students free flu shots or host events on campus with vaccinations. Certain university clinics also allow non-students to show up for paid flu shots.

How to Save Money on Prescriptions if You Do Fall Sick

Not getting a flu shot could cost you. Aside from risking hospitalization and death, there’s also a hit to your finances. The CDC reports that Americans spend more than $10 billion every year on direct medical expenses related to the flu. And a prescription for the medicine Tamiflu often costs over $100.

But there is help available to lower the cost of flu medicine.

RxSaver is a website and free app that compares prescription prices at nearby pharmacies, offering you coupons that can save up to 50 percent off the cost. This makes it easier for you to take control of your health and avoid overpaying on medications.

RxSaver Editors

RxSaver Editors

RxSaver Editors are wellness enthusiasts who help you learn how you can save the most on prescription medication costs and other health-related topics.

The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.