How Much Does A Flu Shot Cost Without Insurance In 2021
The out-of-pocket cost for a flu shot is between $20 and $70. However, the price will vary depending on what kind of flu vaccine you receive. Most insurance companies will cover your flu shot at several pharmacies or urgent care facilities.
There are several types of flu shots that you may be able to get this year. The most common types of flu shots are the quadrivalent flu vaccine and the high-dose flu vaccine.
- The quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against four different flu viruses.
- The high-dose flu vaccine can be given to adults over 65 to create a more robust immune response and protection against flu viruses.
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Vaccine Supply And Distribution
How much influenza vaccine is projected to be available for the 2021-2022 influenza season?
Flu vaccine is produced by private manufacturers, so supply depends on manufacturers. Vaccine manufacturers have projected that they will supply the United States with as many as 188 million to 200 million doses of influenza vaccine for the 2021-2022 season. These projections may change as the season progresses. All flu vaccines for the 2021-2022 season will be quadrivalent . Most will be thimerosal-free or thimerosal-reduced vaccine and about 18% of flu vaccines will be egg-free.
Where can I find information about vaccine supply?
Special Consideration Regarding Egg Allergy
People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine that is otherwise appropriate. People who have a history of severe egg allergy should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Two completely egg-free flu vaccine options are available: quadrivalent recombinant vaccine and quadrivalent cell-based vaccine.
Why Are Preservatives Sometimes Used In Vaccines
Preservatives are used to protect vaccines packaged in multi-dose vials. Each time a vaccine dose is drawn from a multi-dose vial, bacteria or fungi can enter the vial. Receiving a vaccine contaminated with bacteria or fungi can be dangerous. Preservatives are needed to prevent contamination of multi-dose vials each time individual doses are drawn.
Thimerosal use in vaccines and other medical products has a record of being very safe. Data from many studies show no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines.
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The Cost Of A Flu Shot Without Insurance
The average cost of a high-dose flu shot without insurance is typically around $70. The CDC private sector cost for a quadrivalent flu shot ranges from $16.94 to $25.76. However, the price you pay may be higher at some locations due to additional fees.
See the chart below for prices at major pharmacies such as CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Costco, and Walgreens. If you have not gotten vaccinated this flu season, it is recommended that you get the flu shot as soon as possible.
How Much Will Getting A Flu Shot Cost
- Students with the BU Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan can get a flu shot for free through a SHS flu clinic. Flu clinics are announced on the SHS calendar. Flu clinics are appointment-only, and students must make an appointment on Patient Connect.
- Students that have other health insurance can get a flu shot from a SHS flu clinic for $40. SHS will bill your Student Account for the cost of the flu shot. Some health insurance companies may reimburse students for the cost of the flu shot.
- The price will depend on a students health insurance and where they get the flu shot.
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Why Should People Get Vaccinated Against Flu
Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and flu can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad and missing work or it can result in more serious illness. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. While some people who get a flu vaccine may still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.
What Kinds Of Flu Vaccines Are Available
CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine during the 2021-2022 influenza season. Available influenza vaccines include quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated influenza vaccine . No preference is expressed for any influenza vaccine over another.
Quadrivalent flu vaccines include:
Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over others?
For the 2021-2022 flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, influenza vaccine that is appropriate for the recipients age and health status, including inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated nasal spray influenza vaccine with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.
There are many vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.
Who Should Vaccinate?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season with rare exception. CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this recommendation since the 2010-2011 influenza season.
More information is available at Who Needs a Flu Vaccine.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?
When should I get vaccinated?
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Is There A Downside To The Shingles Vaccine
Though the vaccine is deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , there are certain conditions in which the vaccine may not be safe for you.
- The shingles vaccine has only been tested in adults over age 50 years and immunocompromised adults above 18 years thus, there is no recommendation for the vaccine for younger ages by the FDA.
- You should not get the vaccine if you have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous Shingrix dose.
- You have tested negative for immunity to varicella-zoster virus .
- You have an active shingles infection.
With The Flu Season Upon Us Many People Are Considering Getting An Annual Vaccine However The Shot Price Varies Depending On Where You Get It
October has inaugurated the so-called “flu season” this year in the US, and taking into account all the covid-19 confusion this year’s season might bring, many people are looking to get their annual shot.
Influenza, most commonly known as the flu, is a respiratory virus that attacks your nose, throat, and lungs and provides multiple unpleasant symptoms such as fever, muscle ache, and vomiting. The virus tends to resolve itself in a matter of weeks, as reported by the CDC, but for certain people such as the elderly and those who suffer from lung disease, the flu can be quite severe, in the worst case scenario even causing death.
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Talk To Your Pharmacist Or Nurse Practitioner Prior To Your Vaccination
Before administering your vaccination, the immunizing pharmacist or nurse practitioner will want to know about any medical conditions you might have, any previous reactions to vaccines, and your medication history if you fill your prescriptions at another pharmacy. They will also be able to advise on any side effects that may result from your vaccination.
Is The Vaccine Safe
The flu vaccine is safe, says Dr. Mieses Malchuk. The most common side effect is muscle soreness where the shot was given. If the vaccine is doing its jobwhich is to stimulate the immune systemyou may also feel achy or tired.
This does not mean youre sick, she stresses. Because the flu shot doesnt contain any live virus, it cant give you the actual flu. It also doesnt cause autism or any other illness, despite continuing rumors to the contrary.
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Free Flu Shots Through Clinics Community Organizations And Public Health Departments
Many health departments and free clinics offer low-cost or free flu shots across the U.S. Here are a few examples:
Most colleges offer free flu shots for their students. Check on your schools website to confirm.
Military veterans enrolled in health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can get a flu shot at their nearest VA health care facility. This program does not apply to family members of veterans.
Many county health departments offer free, or discounted, flu vaccinations during flu season. Examples include:
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in partnership with select LA County Libraries, will offer free flu shots through November.
The San Francisco Health Department offers convenient locations for members of the public to easily access free or low-cost flu vaccines.
The Houston Health Department offers flu shots to uninsured and underinsured people on a sliding scale that ranges from free to $15.
Cant find a location near you on this list? Watch for announcements on your local news station or in your local newspaper or search online for free flu shots in your area or through your citys health department.
Flu Shots Now Available At Cvs Walmart Walgreens And Rite
In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 file photo, a patient receives an influenza vaccine in Mesquite, Texas. Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens have started administering the flu shot for 2021. AP
While Americans are being highly encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine, pharmacies are looking ahead to the 2021 flu season.
CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid have announced they are accepting appointments for people to get a flu shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people age 6 months and older receive a flu shot before the end of October and that getting it is even more important during the pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the overall burden of respiratory illnesses is important to protect vulnerable populations at risk for severe illness, the healthcare system, and other critical infrastructure. Thus, healthcare personnel should use every opportunity during the influenza season to administer influenza vaccines to all eligible persons, the CDC said.
Rite Aid is offering the flu vaccine via walk-in appointments and online scheduling. Rite Aid began administering the flu shot on Aug. 12.
Walmart said it is offering a low-cost flu vaccine and a free COVID-19 vaccine that people can get at the same time.
Walmart said it also will continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while administering vaccines.
CVS said it has flu shots available at all CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations.
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Saving On Pharmacy Vaccinations
Just like at your doctors office, pharmacies that offer vaccinations will file with your insurance.
Many vaccinations wont cost you anything if you have a private insurance plan through your employer or that you purchased on a state marketplace. Under the Affordable Care Act, private plans are required to fully cover the cost of recommended vaccinations for adults and children as preventive medical care.
Unfortunately, Medicare doesnt do as good of a job of covering recommended immunizations. Only flu, pneumonia, and hepatitis B vaccines are fully covered under Medicare Part B. Other vaccinations are treated like prescription drugs and are covered under Medicare Part D or Advantage plans. That means youll be responsible for paying any co-pays and deductibles required by your prescription drug plan.
If youre paying out of pocket, shop around to find the lowest price. When we checked, we found the lowest prices without insurance at Costco. For example, Pneumovax pneumonia vaccine cost $110 at CVS and Target, but just $97 at Costco pharmacies. And the dual Hepatitis A and B vaccine costs $145 at CVS, $150 at Walgreens , and $93 at Costco.
Another option if you are uninsured or paying out of pocket is to check with statewide free health clinics and community health centers, which offer free or low-cost preventive care and low-cost vaccinations. Find a clinic near you.
Are You An Active Duty Or Guard/reserve Member
Youre required to get the flu vaccine.
- You have priority to get the vaccine at military hospitals and military clinics.
- You can also get vaccines at participating retail network pharmacies.
If you go to a participating network pharmacy, you won’t have any cost-shares or copayments if the flu vaccine is administered by a pharmacist. You can also go to a TRICARE-authorized provider at a participating network onsite clinic.
If you go to a network doctor other than your primary care manager , you must get a referral from your PCM. In addition, you may have to pay copayments or cost-shares for the office visit.
When you get a flu vaccine from a participating network pharmacy, follow your Service policy guidance for recording the vaccine in your shot record. You’ll need the following information:
- The date the vaccine was given
- The vaccine name or code
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Customers Of Most Age Groups Can Receive Vaccinations In Our Stores
At CVS Pharmacy, vaccinations are available for adolescents, adults and seniors, while at MinuteClinic, children as young as 18 months can receive certain vaccinations. Call your nearest location to talk to the pharmacist about what vaccinations are right for your age group and whats available at that location.
How Much Is A Flu Shot
Health insurers are required under the Affordable Care Act to cover all federally recommended vaccines for patients, meaning when patients with insurance get their flu shots, it’s free.
But the price a single insurer pays for the flu shot can vary significantly from provider to provider, according to Galewitz.
To better understand this variation, KHN looked at a sample of explanations of benefits for employees’ flu shots in different locations throughout the country and at different providers. All the employees were covered by Cigna.
The sample revealed “dramatic differences” in the cost of the shot among its employees, Galewitz writes.
For instance, the insurer paid $32 for a shot administered at a CVS in Washington, D.C., and $40 to a CVS that was less than 10 miles away in Maryland. However, on the other side of the country, Cigna paid $47.53 to a provider in Long Beach, California, and $85 to Sutter Health in Sacramento for the shot.
Further, according to KHN, $85 was more than three times the $25 Sutter’s website said it charged for the flu shot for people without insurance. In comparison, Medicaid pays providers significantly less for a flu shot, reimbursing $19 in Connecticut and $15 in Washington, D.C.
According to KHN, the variance in pricing echoes the findings of a separate analysis, which found insurers in 2017 paid anywhere between $28 and $80 for the same type of flu shot.
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Military Hospital Or Clinic
- Active duty service members have priority
- If not available stateside at your military hospital or clinic, you can seek the flu vaccine at a participating network provider or TRICARE-authorized providerAn authorized provider is any individual, institution/organization, or supplier that is licensed by a state, accredited by national organization, or meets other standards of the medical community, and is certified to provide benefits under TRICARE. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network. DS.
- If not available overseas at your military hospital or clinic, you can seek the flu vaccine by:
- If you’re an active duty service member, you need to follow your unit chain of command and service guidance for recording the vaccine in your service medical record
How Do Flu Vaccines Work
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with circulating influenza viruses.
Seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. All flu vaccines in the United States are quadrivalent vaccines, which means they protect against four different flu viruses: an influenza A virus, an influenza A virus, and two influenza B viruses.
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The Cost Of Other Vaccines
The cost of recommended vaccines varies depending on your insurance plan. If you have private insurance, you will likely get most of the recommended vaccines for free or with a small copayment.
If you are covered by Medicare Part B, you will be able to get some vaccines for little to no cost. The included vaccines are the flu shot, pneumococcal disease vaccine, and the hepatitis B vaccine if you have a pre-existing condition. If you are covered by Medicare part D, you will be able to get the shingles vaccine and the Tdap vaccine for little to no cost.
The cost of vaccines for adults who are covered by Medicaid varies significantly by state. If you are covered by Medicaid, you will likely access a flu shot for little to no cost. If you are not covered by insurance, the out-of-pocket cost of vaccines varies depending on the vaccine type and where you are vaccinated.
Below we outlined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and private sector costs for some adult vaccines. Note that the prices may be highest due to additional fees at your testing location.