Here Are A Few Ways To Find Your Flu Shot
There are several kinds of flu vaccines available this year, including the standard shot, a nasal spray, and a special version for people over 65. Susan R. Bailey, president of the American Medical Association, recommends taking whatever vaccine your clinic or pharmacy has in stock unless you have a severe allergy risk or have been advised by a doctor to get a specific type.
The CDCs vaccine-finder site locates flu-shot providers near you based on your zip code, including pharmacies and urgent care centers. Many pharmacies and clinics are asking patients to make appointments, although they are mostly still allowing walk-ins. Be sure to check your local site.
If you havent heard from your school, employer, primary care provider, or any other place that typically provides flu shots every year, reach out. Ask when they will be getting them and how theyll be arranging vaccinations with social distancing.
Flu shots are free with most private and government insurance including Medicare and Medicaid. If you are uninsured, Vaccines.gov has a list of resources including where to get free shots for children and where states are providing free shots.
Find A Flu Shot Location Near You
If you have a UnitedHealthcare health plan, you can get a flu shot at more than 50,000 locations.
Enter your ZIP code and select a pharmacy in your area, then select Find my flu shot to see results within a 20-mile radius from the center of your ZIP code.
Please note: If you’re using a screen reader, please select Participating pharmacies, then select a pharmacy to find a location near you.
How Effective Is The Flu Shot
The vaccine formulation changes every year to try to match the influenza viruses that are spreading in our communities. The vaccine is more effective when it has a good match. Even if a flu vaccine was not well-matched, it is still beneficial to get vaccinated. If you do get the flu after vaccination, influenza illness may be less severe than if you had not been vaccinated. Getting vaccinated also helps to protect your community by promoting herd immunity.
How well the vaccine works varies from year to year. Overall, receiving the flu vaccine usually reduces the risk of getting the flu by between 40% and 60% among most people when the vaccine is well-matched with the isolated virus. Some people respond better than others to the flu vaccine and build stronger immunity. People that are older than 65 years typically build weaker immune responses to the influenza vaccine, which is why there are special flu vaccines made especially for seniors.
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How Does The Flu Vaccine Work
There are several different kinds of flu vaccines available today. The flu shot is either made with inactivated or killed viruses or no virus at all. The vaccines that do not contain the virus are called recombinant vaccines and only contain certain proteins found in the influenza virus, known as subunits. The nasal spray flu vaccine is made with live viruses that have been rendered too weak to cause any illness. This type of vaccine is called a live-attenuated vaccine. Regardless of which type of vaccine you get, your body creates antibodies that protect you from the flu by attacking the virus.
What Are The Prices For Vaccines At Walgreens
The amount you spend out of pocket for a vaccine depends on several factors. If you have insurance, you may have responsibility for part of the cost or you may not have to pay anything for certain vaccinations.
Where you live also can impact what you pay for a vaccine, even at the same retailer. For example, a Walgreens pharmacy in Alaska may charge a different cash price than a Walgreens pharmacy in California or a Duane Reade pharmacy in New Jersey.
Here is how out-of-pocket costs compare at Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacies in four states:
Walgreens Pharmacy: Las Vegas, Nevada
HPV: $297 per dose
Flu : $77
Flu : $43
Duane Reade Pharmacy: New York City
Flu : $43
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What Do Seniors Need To Know About The Flu Vaccine
Compared to younger adults, people who are 65 years and older have a greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. It has been estimated that in recent years seniors have accounted for 50% to 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations and 70% to 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths. In addition, seniors typically develop weaker immune responses to the flu vaccine. That’s why there are special flu vaccines specifically designed for seniorsthe high-dose flu vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine.
Compared to a regular flu shot, the high-dose vaccine has four times the amount of antigen, which is the part of the vaccine that triggers the immune response. The adjuvanted flu vaccine contains an extra substance called an adjuvant that helps the vaccine work better by giving you a stronger immune response. Both the high-dose vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine have demonstrated stronger immune responses in persons 65 years and older as compared to those who received the standard flu shot. Note that older adults can get any flu vaccine approved for use in their age group, including standard-dose flu vaccine.
What Are Other Ways I Can Protect Against The Flu
In addition to your yearly flu vaccine, there are a few other things you can do to protect your family and yourself from the flu. There are daily precautions you can take such as limiting contact with sick people as much as possible and washing your hands with soap and water often. If you have received a prescription for flu antiviral medications, it’s important to take them as directed by your healthcare provider.
But remember, the No. 1 way to protect yourself and your family against the flu virus is to get vaccinated every year.
Clinically reviewed and updated June 2021.
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What Should You Know About Seasonal Flu This Year
Watch as Dr. Mayrene Hernandez, Medical Director for UnitedHealthcare, answers some common questions about the upcoming flu season.
Its important to get the flu shot every year. The flu shot protects you against the flu virus.
It can help you prevent a hospitalization or complications of actually getting the flu.
It is very easy to find a local pharmacy or your providers office. Its offered in multiple, multiple locations.
Not only that, its also covered at 100% in most plans.
Who should get the flu shot? Everyone above the age of six months or older. Adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, or those with chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, coronary artery disease, or renal disease. But you should also get it even if youre healthy.
Walgreens Offers Scheduled And Walk
You can schedule an appointment online with any Walgreens Pharmacy. Scheduling an appointment will let you answer screener questions and enter your insurance or GoodRx coupon info, so you can be in and out even faster. You can also schedule a vaccine appointment or 1-800-WALGREENS . If you decide you would rather get your flu vaccine while youre already out of the house, walk-ins are welcome. Find your nearest Walgreens, or visit the Walgreens flu page for more information.
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I’ve Heard There Are Different Flu Vaccines Available Which One Is Right For Me
There are several different flu vaccines, and your pharmacist or other healthcare provider can help find the right vaccine for you. The CDC recommends that everyone age 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine each year. The CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over another the most important thing is that you get a flu vaccine every year.
All flu vaccines are quadrivalent , meaning they are designed to protect against four different flu viruses. The flu shots are injections that are administered into your upper arm. The flu shots do not contain a live virus and are either inactivated or recombinant .
There is also a nasal spray. The nasal spray contains live-attenuated influenza virus and is quadrivalent. The nasal spray flu vaccine may be an option for healthy people between the ages of 249, who aren’t pregnant or have a weakened immune system.
People who are 65 years and older have additional options. Older adults have the option of receiving either a high-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine. These flu shots are specifically formulated for seniors and, in past studies, have demonstrated better protection against the flu in persons age 65 and older.
Can You Get The Flu Shot At The Same Time As A Covid
Although data on receiving the COVID vaccine at the same time as the influenza vaccine is limited, the CDC advises that its safe to do so. Research is ongoing, but one study among healthcare workers found that the flu shot offered some protection against severe forms of COVID-19. But because they are two different viruses, you should be vaccinated against each one to be fully protected. Getting the flu shot will not interfere with the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, and you dont have to disclose whether youve been vaccinated for COVID-19 if you dont want to.
In the instance that youre experiencing flu symptoms or youve tested positive for COVID-19, you should wait until recovering and completing your isolation period before getting a flu or COVID-19 shot. For mild symptoms and a negative COVID-19 test, its okay to go ahead and get vaccinated for the flu or COVID-19.
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What Is The Flu
Influenza is a respiratory illness, which means that it affects your airways. It is spread easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing and even talking. When you get the influenza virus, it sometimes takes one to four days before you start noticing symptoms. This means that you could spread the flu to those around you before you even know that you’re sick. Adults may be able to spread the flu for up to seven days after first becoming sick, and children may continue to spread the flu for even longer.
How To Get Low
Children can receive financial assistance through the federal Vaccines for Children program. This is for kids who are:
American Indian or Alaska Native
The shingles vaccines manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, offers a patient assistance program for those without insurance who cant afford the vaccine. Your healthcare provider needs to apply for the program on your behalf.
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Does Medicare Cover Vaccines
Medicare covers the flu and pneumococcal vaccines at 100% under Part B, along with the hepatitis B vaccine for those at higher risk. That means no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. A tetanus shot after experiencing a deep wound or burn also should be covered.
Medicare Part D plans should cover the shingles vaccine, but check with your plan. You may have to pay at least a portion out of pocket if you havent yet reached your deductible for the year . There may be a copay, depending on your plan.
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.
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The Vaccines For Children Program
helps provide vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not afford them. To qualify for this federally funded program, a child must be under 19 years old and be any of the following:
- Without health insurance
- American Indian
- Alaska Native
Vaccines provided by VFC are free, but there may be an administration or office-visit fee. Contact your local VFC coordinator to find doctors who work with the program. Or, you can visit a public health clinic, federally qualified health center, or rural health clinic to get vaccines through VFC.
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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What A Flu Shot Will Cost You At These 6 Stores
If you havent gotten your annual flu vaccine this year, its not too late. Flu season peaks between December and March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And while theres 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, thats 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.
Cdc Recommendations For The Flu Shot
The CDC recommends that everyone age six months and older gets a flu vaccine. This includes pregnant, elderly, and immunocompromised people.
Your flu shot doesnt just increase the odds that you stay well. Like the COVID-19 vaccine, being vaccinated against the flu reduces your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, or death.
Getting vaccinated can also reduce the risk for those around you and in your community, especially for young children that cant yet be vaccinated, older people, and people with some chronic illnesses.
There are several types of flu shots to fit your needs. Some provide more protection for people age 65 and older, and there are egg-free versions for people with allergies.
You can even avoid a needle altogether by getting the vaccine as a nasal spray. Keep in mind that there are more restrictions and side effects with the nasal spray, and it may be harder to find.
Children younger than fiveespecially those younger than twoare at high risk for complications from the flu.
Parents and caregivers need a flu shot to help protect high-risk children and infants who are too young to receive the vaccine.
Fever, coughing, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue are all common symptoms of the flu. Sneezing, sore throat, and a stuffy nose without fever are commonly associated with a cold.
Getting the flu can cause you to miss work, school, and social plans for up to two weeks.
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Supermarkets And Big Box Stores
Most of the country’s large grocery store chains, including Stop & Shop, Kroger, and Safeway, have pharmacies on the premises that offer free flu shots with most health insurance plans. Even stores without pharmacies may sponsor pop-up flu shot clinics on site. You can also grab a flu shot when you’re making your weekly bulk-grocery run to Sam’s Club or Costco.
Getting A Flu Vaccine: Four Steps
Community care flu shots are available to eligible Veterans who:
- Are enrolled in the VA health care system AND
- Received care through VA from either a VA or community provider within the past 24 monthsNOTE: Second requirement is new for 2021-2022 flu season.
To check your eligibility, Veterans can:
Call 800-MyVA411 , select option 1 , then select option 3 , and then option 1 again .NOTE: The system will check your eligibility for the community urgent care benefit, which includes the flu vaccine.
Contact your local VA medical facility.
Veterans can get a flu shot without prior authorization. Flu vaccines provided include standard , high dose, and preservative-free.
NOTE: Family members and beneficiaries are not eligible. State, age and health-related restrictions may apply. Individuals who are not eligible and receive a flu vaccine may be liable for the cost of the vaccine.
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