Flu season is here. Well, technically it's been here — but, after a slow start in November, cases of the flu in 2019 are on the rise, so you'll want to know where to get a free flu shot ASAP. Yes, that's a thing — avoiding the flu doesn't cost a thing if you know where to look! According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anywhere between nine and 50 million people in the United States suffer from the flu each year. And in a recent study it was shown that less than half of Americans get vaccinated. Why? The concept of going out and getting vaccinated might sound more complicated than it actually is.
First of all, most basic health care plans offer free flu shots, and second, urgent care centers and other affiliations offer free flu shots to people who don't have health insurance. The CDC even offers a "find a flu shot" search widget that makes it easy for you to look up what facilities are offering flu shots near you, so that you don't have to travel far. But if you didn't know about these options, it might sound daunting to figure out how to get a shot, which is likely why so many Americans don't.
What's more, then entire process of getting vaccinated takes only about five minutes, and with minimal risk of side effects, you can easily pop out during your lunch break to get the shot. Sacrificing five minutes to get a shot that can keep you from getting multiple strands of a (sometimes deadly) virus is really a no-brainer if you know enough about it. Lucky for you, now you do. Here are some of the (perhaps surprising) places that offer both free flu shots to people without health insurance, and without.
Grocery stores like Safeway, Stop & Shop, Giant Foods, Kroger and more are not only offering free flu shots, but they're also offering shopping discounts for customers who do get vaccinated there — talk about incentive!
Pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Target and more offer free flu shots for patients covered by insurance. While most pharmacies provide vaccinations on a walk-in basis call ahead to ensure an appointment isn't necessary.
Many public and private college campuses will offer free flu shots to students who visit the health center. When in doubt, give the health center a ring and find out what they have available to you.
Your Primary Care Doctor
If flu shots are covered with your health insurance (most plans do cover vaccinations) you can cash in your free flu shot in most places, especially at your doctor's office.
Your boss doesn't want you to get sick just as much as you don't want you to get sick. Check with HR to see if your job offers free flu shot vouchers that you can cash in at a local pharmacy.