The CDC estimates that during 2022 and 2023 flu caused 25 – 51 million illnesses, 12 – 25 million medical visits, and around 630,000 hospitalizations. Many underestimate the damage that flu can do to the body, but having a flu vaccine or flu shot helps protect the body from viruses.
Insurance covers the costs of a flu shot, but not having insurance means you must pay for it out of pocket. But how much does a flu shot cost without insurance? Let’s find out.
How Much Does A Flu Shot Cost Without Insurance?
Typically, a flu shot costs up to $70. The cost varies depending on the type of flu vaccine you receive and where you decide to get it. There are different vaccines for different flu strains and age groups.
The quadrivalent and high-dose flu vaccines are the two most common flu shots. The former protects against four different flu viruses. These include two Influenza A strains and another two Influenza B strains.
The latter is catered towards adults over the age of 65. This flu shot stimulates the immune response and helps protect seniors against flu viruses during the current flu season.
Where Can You Get A Flu Shot Without Insurance?
There are a few places you can go to if you want a flu shot without insurance coverage. Some of the options available include the following:
Your local pharmacy should be the first place you go if you want an affordable flu shot without insurance.
Private pharmacies like Costco offer a flu vaccine for $20 for anyone aged 4 and up. You also won’t need a Costco membership to receive the vaccine.
Walmart offers a flu vaccine with every $21 spent at the pharmacy in the form of a coupon. This means the next time you need to go to Walmart, you can take the coupon to the pharmacy section and get your shot.
Other pharmacies like CVS, Target, and HEB charge $25, but if you book in advance, you get a $5 coupon to use for your next visit.
Walgreens and Kroger are the most expensive pharmacies to get the flu shot. Both will run you up to $40 if you are between the ages of 7 and 49. If you’re older than that, you can expect to pay up to $70.
Children under the age of 19 can get a free flu shot under the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program. However, there are other vaccination costs you need to be aware of.
An example of an additional cost could be an administrative fee for the office visit. Alternatively, the healthcare providers could charge a fee to give the shot.
However, suppose the family cannot afford the fee. In that case, the price must be waived, and the child cannot be denied vaccination due to the inability to pay.
The VFC covers anyone under 19, uninsured, underinsured, or those that are Native American or Alaskan Natives.
Many organizations or companies want their employees to be vaccinated and in top shape when it comes to their health. Sick employees mean more downtime, lower productivity, and a loss in profits. So, it’s important for companies to ensure their employees are ready to face the coming flu season.
It’s common for companies to offer flu shots on-site without insurance. Some companies will offer vouchers their employees can take to a pharmacy if they prefer to receive the flu shot elsewhere.
If you haven’t been informed about the flu shot in any meeting or a public work announcement, then visit your HR team and inquire about it. You may be able to get the flu shot without having to pay for it.
Government Health Centres
Government health centers are a great place to get an affordable flu shot if you don’t have insurance.
Some federally funded health centers and state departments may provide free or low-cost preventive vaccines, such as the flu shot, on a sliding scale based on your income.
You will typically find these centers in community halls or sports complexes in your town.
Schools Or Universities
Many government healthcare organizations visit schools and universities to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination. Certain tertiary institutions may have a week dedicated to blood drives and flu vaccines, so visit your campus health center to learn more about getting the flu shot for free.
Churches And Religious Organizations
Many places of worship offer flu shots to their community. The government typically funds these organizations, making it possible for them to offer the flu shot free of charge.
Specific sites or organizations may require you to be a member of the religion. However, many churches, mosques, and synagogues welcome anyone and everyone. Ask around in your community to learn more about the religious organizations that offer free flu shots.
How To Get An Affordable Flu Shot If You Don’t Have Insurance
If you don’t have insurance, getting the flu vaccine is as easy as getting in your car and driving to your local pharmacy.
However, it’s essential to compare each pharmacy’s prices and see which makes the most sense. Compare the prices, consider convenience, and whether you’ll benefit from coupons or subsequent visits.
You may not need to pay for a flu shot if you are under the age of 19. Even if you’re not, it won’t cost you a fortune to get vaccinated as long as you go to the right place.
Anyone can get the flu shot and it’s vital to do it annually. All you have to do is find the right place to get your next flu shot.
Flu Shot Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is It Important To Get A Flu Shot?
Influenza is one of the deadliest respiratory viruses that kill hundreds of thousands of people yearly.
Immunity from vaccinations depletes over time, and the viruses evolve. This means that annual vaccinations are the only viable solution to staying protected against them.
Anyone can get a flu shot, but there are specific, vulnerable groups that should look into getting it. These include pregnant women, health workers, those with chronic medical conditions, the elderly, and those under 6 years of age.
The vaccination reduces the severity of the flu and the chances of developing complications or death.
How Long Does The Flu Shot Last?
The flu shot shields those who receive it from a case of the cold during the current flu season. This protection lasts 6 to 8 months, beginning two weeks after receiving the vaccine.
Once the flu season is over, the flu shot will no longer protect you; you will need a new vaccination for the following year’s season.
What Are The Side Effects Of The Flu Shot?
Flu shot side effects are common and expected. The flu shot is known for giving flu-like symptoms once the vaccine enters the system.
Some of these symptoms include fever, nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, coughing, and a sore throat.
You might experience side effects from the injection. This includes a soreness or aching sensation in your arm and redness or swelling at the point of injection.
It’s also important to check with the doctor or nurse performing the injection that you aren’t allergic to any vaccines or their components.
Not having insurance means you must pay for most medical services and vaccines. This includes paying for the flu shot if you’re not under 19.
However, insurance doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are many affordable health plans available across the country.
Get in touch with us at Enhance Health to get health insurance coverage even if you’re in a low- to no-income situation. Our experienced team will help you find a suitable insurance plan that meets your needs