Retailers That Will Reward You For Getting A Flu Shot In 2021
If staying healthy is not enough motivation to get a flu shot, how about a freebie?
With summer over and fall having arrived, flu season is beginning. One of the best ways to keep this illness at bay is to get a flu shot.
And if staying healthy is not enough motivation to roll up your sleeve, how about a freebie or discount?
Several retail chains offer rewards for people who get flu shots at their locations. Incentives are currently being offered by the retailers listed below.
Typically, flu shots are free with most insurance plans. So, if you have insurance, you likely can claim a flu-fighting reward when you get your shot from these chains without spending a dime. But make sure to confirm that with your insurer first.
For more ways to avoid the flu, check out 5 Ways to Beat the Flu on the Cheap.
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.
Can I Get The Flu Vaccine And The Covid Vaccine In The Same Visit
Yes. The C.D.C. says the vaccine maybe administered without regard to the timing of other vaccines.
Side effects are generally similar when the vaccines are given simultaneously as when they are administered alone, the C.D.C. says.
Dr. Kevin Ban, the chief medical officer at Walgreens, said, Not only is it possible, but we highly encourage people to be vaccinated for both flu and Covid.
Vaccines received at the same time do not cause cumulative reactions, Dr. L.J. Tan, Immunization Action Coalitions Chief Policy and Partnerships Officer, said in an interview. It is not like you are adding it on.
Common reactions to the flu vaccine can be a sore arm, and some people might get a little tired, he said.
If you do get the flu shot and the Covid-19 vaccine at the same time, experts advise using different arms to avoid soreness, or at least spacing the injection site for each shot by at least one inch.
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Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine And When
The relative lack of flu cases over the last 18 months could also mean that population-level immunity to the flu is lower this season, said Lynnette Brammer, the leader of the C.D.C.s domestic influenza surveillance team.
And while it is still uncertain how the season will play out, she added, relaxed pandemic measures in some places will likely result in the resumption of seasonal flu virus circulation.
This all could set us up for a potentially severe flu season, she added.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the season starts in October and can last through May. In the Southern Hemisphere, it typically occurs from April through September.
The C.D.C. advises everyone over the age of 6 months old to get the shot, with a few exceptions. Vaccination is especially important for some groups of people, including those with underlying health conditions, older adults and young children, Ms. Brammer said.
It takes about two weeks for protection to develop after vaccination, so experts recommend getting vaccinated from September through the end of October, but even after that it is better to get the vaccine than not.
Because viruses mutate, requiring a new vaccine every year, even people who received a flu shot last year need another this year, they said. For any given season, vaccines are tailored to the types of influenza viruses there are many that are circulating or most likely to be circulating.
Get Your Flu Shot Today
Getting a flu shot is a simple way you can help yourself and others be healthier this flu season. If your UnitedHealthcare health plan is provided through your employer:
- Your flu shot is covered at $0 out-of-pocket1
- You can get a flu shot at more than 50,000 locations
Recommended Reading: Can I Give Blood After Flu Vaccine
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Where Are Flu Vaccines Made
Flu Shots Now Available At Cvs Pharmacy And Minuteclinic
Nearly three quarters of Americans say they plan to get a flu shot this year, with 45 percent planning on getting their vaccine at a retail pharmacy
WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Health is reminding Americans that as the country continues to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to stay current with vaccinations and other routine health care needs. By getting a flu shot this fall and taking other proactive measures to improve general health and immunity, individuals and families can protect themselves against seasonal flu and help safeguard the overall health of the community.
According to a survey commissioned by CVS Health Flu Intention Survey, commissioned by CVS Health in June 2021 and conducted among a general population of U.S. consumers, consumers intention to get vaccinated against seasonal flu increased five percentage points from June 2020 to June 2021, with 71 percent of those surveyed saying they definitely or likely will get a flu shot this season. In addition, 45 percent of consumers surveyed said they planned to get a flu shot at a retail pharmacy, the most preferred destination cited, followed by a doctors office .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals make plans to get vaccinated early in the fall, before flu season begins, and ideally no later than the end of October.
Video and photo assets from MinuteClinic and CVS Pharmacy are available in the CVS Health Media Gallery.
Can You Get The Covid & Flu Vaccine At The Same Time
Yes, there is no conflict between the COVID-19 and flu vaccines. You can get both within the same season, and even at the same time. There has even been discussion about combining the two vaccines together at some point.
And, yes, you can get infected with the flu and COVID-19 at the same time too. So, get both vaccines!
Recommended Reading: What Does The Flu Affect
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How To Get A Discount On Your Flu Shot
If you cant secure a free flu shot, make sure to compare prices at singlecare.com before choosing where to get your jab. You can find the least expensive location near youplus, youll see coupons to save on flu shots, flu medications, and other prescriptions you need to get you through cold and flu season.
If its your first time using your SingleCare card, you can use a coupon for an additional $5 off the price of the following brands.
Also Check: Number Of Flu Cases 2021
Increasing Research And Development Spend
Despite those horrific statistics, R& D toward improved flu vaccines, as well as funding, has been relatively paltry and largely confined to academia, biotech startups, and the National Institutes of Health .
The NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases unit has an annual budget of about $220 million for the universal flu vaccine, a chunk of it dispersed as grants to the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers, or CIVICs, launched in 2019. By comparison, the NIH earmarked nearly $7 billion for researching cancer, which claimed 606,520 lives in 2020.
Last November, Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey reintroduced the Flu Vaccine Act, a bill proposing an investment of $1 billion for the NIH’s flu research projects, including external collaborations.
There are dozens of other flu vaccine R& D projects underway in the U.S., some in search of what are known as supra-seasonal shots that could prevent recipients from becoming infected for several years. A promising program is underway at the University of Washington’s Medicine Institute for Protein Design in Seattle by a team led by Neil King, an assistant professor of biochemistry at the university’s School of Medicine, using computers to design new, self-assembling protein nanoparticles to produce a vaccine.
Can I Get The Flu Once Ive Gotten The Vaccine
Even if you do get the vaccine, it isn’t 100 percent effective, and theres no guarantee itll keep you from getting the flu. Thats because the virus is extraordinarily promiscuous, according to Dr. Poland. Its constantly mutating and changing, meaning that the vaccine you get could be protecting you from four different strains of the flu but if you run across a fifth strain, you could still get sick.
For example, In 2000, we had exactly the right combination of flu strains in the vaccine, Dr. Poland says. “Then, out of nowhere, in November, there was a new strain, and people had no protection.
Still, some protection is better than none at all. With so many different types of influenza virus out there, its best to be protected against as many as possible.
Recommended Reading: Flu Shot Safe For Pregnancy
If I Have Been Vaccinated For Covid Do I Still Need The Flu Vaccine
Yes, one does not protect against the other. Vaccines are intended to target specific viruses: Just as the Covid-19 vaccines are manufactured for the coronavirus, flu vaccines target influenza viruses.
That means flu shots this year will be doled out as some people are getting initial and booster shots for the coronavirus.
There is vaccine fatigue out there, Dr. Schaffner said. But we are going to have to tell people, Oh no, you need a different one, right at the time we are boosting.
Flu Shot Discounts: How To Get A $5 Credit Or 10% Off Groceries In California
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Health officials in California and across the country encourage everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated with a seasonal flu shot – with some exceptions. In many cases, retailers will give you $5 in-store credit or other discounts to get the flu vaccine .
Also Check: Can I Have Tylenol Cold And Flu While Pregnant
Where Can I Get The Vaccine
Pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS, and at Walmart offer free flu shots. There are mobile apps to make appointments and online vaccination finders.
Public health officials and experts said that vaccination was so important because it reduces the chances of severe, sometimes fatal illness.
We cant shut it off like a light switch, Dr. Schaffner said. But we can dim it.
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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The Best Flu Shot Deals At Cvs Target Publix And More
If youre looking for a place to get a flu shot, theres a good chance your local pharmacys immunization program has what you need. But as youll see, some pharmacies may have better flu shot prices and deals than others.
In this article, Im going to show you some major grocery and pharmacy chains offering flu shot deals as of September 2021.
Laboratory Testing As Avenue For Employer Healthcare Savings
Did you know that over 14 billion laboratory tests are ordered annually, and that 70% of medical decisions are based on those testing results?1 As an essential part of the healthcare system in the United States for diagnosis and treatment of diseases, it is critical that individuals have access to quality, affordable testing.
Employers can help address gaps in clinical testing by offering a laboratory benefit option to employees. With a laboratory benefit, employers can streamline the employee experience while ensuring their employees receive the highest quality diagnostic testing at an affordable price.
Does it really matter where your employees have their lab testing completed?
As you know, healthcare costs continue to rise. Between 2014 and 2018, per-person healthcare spending rose by 4.3%. Additionally, during that time, out-of-pocket spending increased by 14.5%. Lab testing plays a role in driving these costs.2
In some healthcare systems, physicians offices and hospitals charge a premium for in-house lab testing. As a result, self-insured employers end up paying high costs for this testing, and, depending on the benefit plan, costs can be passed down to employees as well. Whats more is in rural settings, individuals often have limited options for laboratory testing, leading to a limited ability to access and receive care.
How employers save with a lab benefit
Benefits for employees
Is a laboratory benefit right for your organization?
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What Kinds Of Vaccines Are Available
There is more than one flu shot as well as a nasal spray, though shots are much more common. This year, there are four standard-dose flu shots, which are approved for people 6 months of age and older. This is the type of flu shot that most of us get, says Dr. Oller.
Theres also a high-dose flu shot which creates a stronger immune response in adults 65 and over who need extra protection, she adds. The CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another.
Ninety-nine percent of this years vaccines are quadrivalent, which means they protect you against four different strains of the influenza virus. CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations at Target stores are offering both the standard quadrivalent vaccine as well as the higher dose one for seniors.
Theyre also offering an egg-free version for people who are allergic to eggs. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about which is best for you.