5 Places You Can Get a Flu Shot Without Insurance

You may be able to get vaccinated at little or no cost, even without health coverage.

Getting the flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself during the flu season. If you have insurance, there are plenty of places you can get a flu shot for free, meaning the vaccine won't cost you anything other than the prick of the actual needle. If you're uninsured, you're probably wondering how to protect yourself from the flu at little or no cost. Here are a few options.

Why Get Your Flu Shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over 6 months old be vaccinated yearly to protect themselves from influenza. Every year, the flu is different, and complications from the flu can range from mild to severe—from staying home from school or work to pneumonia or worsening of chronic medical conditions.

Vaccination is proven to reduce the severity of illness and the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and even deaths related to the flu. That's why it's important for you to get your flu shot every year.

Government Health Centers

Some federally funded health centers and state departments may offer preventive vaccines like the flu shot for free or at a low cost, including on a sliding scale based on your income. You can find health centers near you and browse your state's vaccine offerings at Vaccines.gov.

The Vaccines for Children Program

If you don't have insurance, are under 19, or have a child who is, you may be eligible for a flu shot through this government program that provides vaccines protecting babies, kids, and adolescents from 16 different diseases.

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines to children to make sure that they are protected against disease. A child is eligible for the VFC if they are one of the following:

  • Medicaid-eligible
  • Uninsured
  • Underinsured (the child has health insurance, but it doesn't cover vaccines)
  • American Indian or Alaska Native

Through this program, there may be other costs associated with vaccinations. For instance, there may be a fee for the office visit, or healthcare providers can charge a fee to administer the shot. But, if the family can't afford the price, the fee must be excused, and the child cannot be refused a vaccination due to being unable to meet this fee. To avoid fees, bring your child to a VFC provider.

Flu Shots at Local Pharmacies

You can pay out-of-pocket for a flu shot at many big-box pharmacies. Just find any pharmacy located near you. Each pharmacy charges a different amount for the flu vaccine, and the price varies depending on which flu vaccine you get—there are specific vaccines available for adults over the age of 65 and people with egg allergies that may be allergic to the regular flu vaccine.

For instance, the flu vaccine at CVS can cost $49.99–$94.99, depending on which vaccine you get. At Walgreens, the flu vaccine will cost $40.99–$69.99. You could also visit your nearest Costco; the Costco Member Prescription Program knocks flu shots down to $19.99 but can go up to $49.99.

Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger, and other grocery stores with pharmacy services onsite also offer flu shots for people without insurance, but you're going to want to contact your local branch for pricing details.

Urgent-care Clinics

The urgent-care clinic near you should have flu vaccines, even for those without insurance. Of course, prices will vary, but to give you an idea: The Physician One Urgent Care center charges $25 for uninsured patients.

You can call the nearest urgent care to make sure they have the flu vaccine in supply and to ask how much they charge for those without insurance.

Your Employer

You may be able to take advantage of a free flu shot at your place of work, regardless of your insurance status. It makes sense, after all: It's in the company's best interest if fewer people get sick, too!

Employers may benefit from offering flu vaccines because:

  • Employees don't have to miss time from work to get vaccinated
  • It reduces absences due to illness
  • It improves the health of employees
  • It improves morale

A Quick Review

If you don't have health insurance, that doesn't mean you can't get the flu shot. Flu vaccines are offered through government health centers, local pharmacies, urgent care clinics, the Vaccines for Children program, or employers. There may be a cost associated with getting the flu vaccine, but protecting yourself and your children from the flu is important.

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Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key facts about flu vaccines.

  2. US Department of Health & Human Services. How to pay.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About VFC.

  4. CVS Pharmacy. Free flu shots near me.

  5. Costco Pharmacy. Get immunized at your local Costco pharmacy today.

  6. PhysicianOne Urgent Care. Flu shot.

  7. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Promoting vaccination in the workplace.

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