What A Flu Shot Will Cost You At These 6 Stores
If you haven?t gotten your annual flu vaccine this year, it?s not too late. Flu season peaks between December and March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And while there?s no evidence that getting a flu shot will protect you from COVID-19, it can be helpful in another way. The fewer people who contract the flu this year, the better: U.S. healthcare systems are already strained under the demands of the ongoing pandemic.
Most flu vaccine in the U.S. is quadrivalent, which means it protects against four strains of the virus. There are also specially formulated flu vaccines, including a high-dose vaccine, for people over 65.
While most major health insurance providers cover the cost of flu shots, that?s not always an option. Without insurance, you can still get a flu shot starting at $19.99, depending on where you go. Here are six stores that offer seasonal flu shots and how much the vaccine costs there.
Why Is It So Important For Seniors To Get Flu Shots
Who is at the greatest risk from catching the flu ?
- children less than 5 yrs old
- individuals suffering from certain existing health conditions
The statistics for the elderly with regard to the flu are tough to read
- 90% of all flu-related deaths in the US are people aged over 65 years old
- 60% of flu-related hospital stays in the US are people over 65 years old
Getting a flu shot done each year is one of the best measures available to prevent and protect against this.
Flu shots are available in a high strength dose, which is usually recommended for the elderly.
The source for the statistics is: NCOA Center for Benefits Access Vaccines: What Medicare pays forwhich you can find and read here.
With each year an elderly person becomes more susceptible to catch the flu virus if they come into in contact with it.
And, the older an individual is, if they catch the flu, the greater the chance is that they may go on to develop a serious complication, such as pneumonia.
In addition, any underlying health conditions can increase the risk of even greater complications from the flu virus, and sadly the elderly are the demographic most likely to have underlying health conditions, just because of their age.
Underlying conditions which can increase the risk of greater complications from the flu virus include
- Tetanus, Diptheria, Whooping Cough
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Flu Shots Are Still Important This Year Get Yours Free At One Of These Locations
Last year’s flu season may have seemed pretty mild, as mask-wearing and social distancing helped to reduce the spread of both flu and COVID-19. But with flu season on the horizon again, and many hospitals already overwhelmed by the Delta variant, we need to be especially vigilant this year and that means getting your flu shot! Experts recommend getting the flu vaccine as early as possible, starting in September, before the virus begins to spread in the fall and winter. Even if you’re late to the party, though, it’s better to get the shot than skip it altogether.
None of us want to spend more time in a clinic or doctor’s office than we need to, which is why a quick, easy, and free flu shot at a retail location might be your best bet. A number of pharmacies, box stores, and supermarkets offer in-store flu shots for free for most people. In many cases, you don’t even need an appointment. For your convenience, we’ve put together a list of some popular locations offering free flu shots this year. Just remember to check availability at your location before heading out!
Does Medicare Pay For Flu Shots At Walgreens
If you have Medicare Part B, it will cover one flu shot per season at a pharmacy such as Walgreens, if it is Medicare-enrolled and accepts assignment.
As Walgreens are Medicare-enrolled and accept assignment, there is no deductible or coinsurance to pay, and Walgreens should bill Medicare directly for the customer, so there is nothing to pay.
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Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
The Flu Shot Is Effective
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from season to season. It depends on:
- how well the vaccine matches with the circulating flu viruses
- the health and age of the person getting the flu shot
The viruses circulating in the population can sometimes change during the time it takes to produce a vaccine. When this happens during the flu season, the flu shot may not work as well as expected.
It’s also important to remember that the flu shot protects against several different flu viruses each season. The seasonal flu shot can still provide protection against the remaining 2 or 3 viruses, even when theres:
- a less-than-ideal match
- lower effectiveness against one virus
If you do get the flu, the flu shot may reduce the severity of flu-related complications.
Getting your flu shot is still the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu and flu-related complications.
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Where Can I Go To Get Vaccinations
Vaccines are offered at drugstore chains, including CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens warehouse clubs like Costco and Sams Club and many independent pharmacies.
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination has 21 national pharmacy partners and independent pharmacy networks to help increase access to the vaccine. A list of the partners can be found on the CDC website.
Flu Shot Price Notes:
- The standard quadrivalent flu shot is designed to protect against four different flu strain viruses two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses and is now the standard offered everywhere.
- The trivalent flu shot option is not being carried yet by any retailer this year.
- The FLUAD quadrivalent flu shot is recommended for those age 65 and over, as it includes an adjuvant designed to strengthen, broaden, and lengthen the duration of the flu vaccine response.
- Even though I have listed the 65+ FLUAD quadrivalent prices here, everyone in this age group is eligible for free flu shots if they are enrolled in Medicare, Part B.
- In prior years, the CDC found that the FluMist quadrivalent nasal mist spray option was not as effective compared to the flu shot and it was pulled from the market. However, it is being offered at a few retailers and public health departments, with the disclaimer that certain populations should not use it.
If none of these retailers have locations by you, check out the CDCs vaccines.gov flu shot vaccine locator website, which will provide a map of providers near you that offer flu shots.
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Is The Vaccine Safe
In a word, yes. Any flu myths you may have heardthat the flu vaccine can cause the flu or that the vaccine can cause autismsimply arent true. The vaccine only contains inactivated or dead pieces of the virus, which arent enough to make you sick. You may, however, have small side effects such as a sore arm from the shot.
You may also get a headache, slight fever, muscle aches, or nausea, all of which usually disappear on their own. A very few people may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Symptoms might include trouble breathing, swelling, or a rapid heartbeat. If you experience any of these, call 911.
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Everyone 6 Months And Older Should Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is your best defence against the flu. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
It can save lives by:
- protecting you, if you’re exposed to the virus
- preventing you from getting very sick
- protecting people close to you:
- because you’re less likely to spread the virus
- who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu
The flu shot wont protect you against COVID-19.
Where Can You Get Free Flu Shots
Free flu shots are easier to find than you might think. If you’re a college student, most colleges offer free flu shots on-campus, while many employers offer free flu shots to their staff, says Dr. Sonpal.
Free flu shots are also available at your local pharmacies and some grocery stores. CVS and MinuteClinic locations in Target, for example, offer free flu shots every day at no cost through most health insurance policies and with no appointment necessary, according to a CVS representative.
Walgreens offers free flu shots through most health insurance policies, as well. You can get vaccinated during pharmacy and clinic hours every day without an appointment. The pharmacy is also currently running its “Get A Shot. Give A Shot” campaign: For every shot administered at a Walgreens pharmacy or health-care clinic between now and January 31, 2020, Walgreens will donate a vaccine to a child in need, “up to an aggregate donation value of $2.6 million,” says Rina Shah, pharmacy operations group vice president of Walgreens.
Wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco offer free flu vaccinations, tooand you don’t even have to be a member to get one, adds Dr. Sonpal. Military veterans enrolled in healthcare through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can also receive a free vaccination at Veterans Affairs health-care facilities.
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People At High Risk Of Complications From The Flu
- people with health conditions, such as:
- cancer and other immune compromising conditions
- kidney disease
- neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
- children up to 18 years of age undergoing treatment for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid
Flu Shot Effectiveness Rate & Time Before It Takes Effect
I have often wondered how long it takes for a flu shot to take effect. According to the CDC, it generally takes about 2 weeks for the flu vaccine to protect you from catching the flu virus.
The flu shot effectiveness rate is widely disputed. There are many variables age, severity of a virus in a given season, new strains, unreported cases, and even effectiveness by manufacturer that make it hard to nail down an effectiveness rate. Ive seen effectiveness rates reported as anywhere from 40% to 90%.
Regardless of effectiveness rate, there is no risk in getting the flu from a flu shot, so sign me up. It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot. And it is recommended that children between 6 months and 8 years of age get 2 shots per season.
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What Kinds Of Vaccines Are Available
Every year, manufacturers produce more than one flu shot there are actually several different types. Most of them are shots, while a few come in the form of a nasal spray, called FluMist. Almost all the vaccines this season protect against four circulating flu viruses.
Most have no or little thimerosala mercury-based preservative to prevent germs from growingand 20 percent will be egg-free. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about which option is best for you.
The Costco flu shot includes Fluad, a vaccine specially formulated for seniors Afluria and Flucelvax for ages three and up and FluMist for $24.99.
The Cheapest Flu Shot Retailers
If you dont have health insurance, employer, health department, or other source that offers free flu shots, there are a number of retailers offering discounted or cheap flu shots for the 2021-2022 flu season. And if you do have health insurance that covers flu shots , it might even be more convenient to get a free flu shot at one of these locations than going to your doctor. Most offer online scheduling.
Retailers and pharmacies usually do not offer their flu shot prices online, but thankfully I have a phone and made a few calls. Here are the flu shot prices that I found :
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What Vaccines Can A Pharmacist Give
Along with the COVID-19 shot and the flu shot, most pharmacists can administer vaccines to protect against:
In addition to vaccinations, other kinds of injections may be available. Some pharmacies, for example, offer the birth control shot and vitamin B12 injections to patients over 18 with a prescription from a doctor.
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About Costco Flu Shot
The Costco brand is as familiar to people in the United States as the likes of McDonald’s and KFC. This isn’t surprising as Costco has more than 600 locations in North America, Europe, and Asia, thus, making it among the world’s largest retailer and membership warehouse clubs. Customers can find almost every modern life staples in the chain’s warehouse from meats and seafood, fruits and vegetables, and canned and packaged foods to furniture, appliances, and electronics!
Yet another good thing about many Costco warehouses is the in-store pharmacies where a wide range of pharmaceutical products and services are available. Among the more popular are annual flu shots for children and adults, said vaccines of which are administered by licensed medical professionals.
The Costco flu shot prices are competitive, thanks partly to the fact that Costco is a warehouse chain with more affordable prices than most retail chains. The pharmacies accept walk-in clients for the flu vaccines so many people actually get their flu shot before or after their shopping.
Above are the latest Costco Flu Shot prices.
Dedicated Shopping Hours For Seniors And Vulnerable Persons
Special Operating Hours for Members Ages 60 or Older Costcos warehouses have reduced their Special Operating Hours for Seniors to 9 to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This will continue until further notice.The Operating Hours are for adults aged 60 and older, and for those with disabilities or who are immunocompromised. Only members who meet these criteria will be able to shop during these hours. Guests will not be admitted.
- Brooklyn, NY: Special Operating Hours are from 8 to 9 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday
- Culver City, CA: Special Operating Hours are from 8 to 9 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday
- Iwilei , HI: Special Operating Hours are from 8 to 9 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday
- Temecula, CA: Special Operating Hours are from 8 to 9 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday
- Westbury, NY: Special Operating Hours are from 8 to 9 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday
The source of the text above is the Costco Updates and Coronavirus Response page on their website, which was last updated August 28, 2021.
You can find that page here
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