An influenza vaccine — or flu shot — can help protect you from several types of flu viruses during flu season and the rest of the year. While most health insurance plans cover the cost of a flu shot, you’ll likely need to pay out of pocket to cover the cost without health insurance. Prices vary depending on the type of flu vaccine you choose, your age, and where you get your shot. You can generally expect to pay less than $60 to get vaccinated.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of a flu shot without insurance, including low-cost and free flu shot options.
Learn More: What’s the Difference Between Deductible and Out-of-Pocket in Health Insurance?
How much does a flu shot cost without insurance?
Without health insurance coverage, a flu shot will cost you anywhere between $20 and $95 out of pocket.
You can get a flu shot in many places, including doctor’s offices, urgent care facilities, pharmacies, big box stores, wholesale clubs, and more. Generally, you can choose from two types of flu shots: one for adults and one for seniors older than 65. However, people with egg allergies may also be able to get an egg-free flu vaccine. Pricing and vaccine options may vary from state to state, so it’s a good idea to consider your options before booking your flu vaccine appointment.
Here’s a look at flu shot costs without insurance at some U.S. retailers and pharmacies:
|Vaccine Location||Flu Shot Cost|
|CVS||$49.99 (adult), $94.99 (adult, egg-free), or $94.99 (senior, 65+)|
|Costco||$19.99 (adult) or $46.99 (senior, 65+)|
|Target||$49.99 (adult), $94.99 (adult, egg-free), or $94.99 (senior, 65+)|
|Walgreens||$42.49 (adult) or $76.99 (senior, 65+)|
|Walmart||$37.30 (adult) or $79.47 (senior, 65+)|
See More: Do I Need Health Insurance?
Where to get low-cost flu shots without insurance
If you’re looking for a low-cost flu shot, many options are available to help you save some cash, including:
Pharmacies and grocery stores: Retail locations serve as a convenient place to get vaccinated and likely cost less than a visit to a doctor. Because prices can vary by location, it’s a good idea to shop around for the best price.
Retailer rewards programs: Retailers sometimes offer discounts for members of certain store programs. Walgreens, for example, offers a 20% discount off flu shots for members of its prescription rewards program.
Membership warehouse clubs: If you belong to a membership warehouse club, like Costco or Sam’s Club, you may be able to save on your flu shot. Flu shots at Costco start at just $19.99, compared to $49.99 at CVS.
Online discounts: You may be able to find an online coupon for savings off your flu shot. For example, GoodRx members can get special flu shot pricing at major retailers and pharmacies.
Local health departments: Check if your community or state offers low-cost flu shots and how to qualify. Your local health department may even partner with a local retailer to make flu vaccination easier.
How to get free flu shots without health insurance
Free flu shots may be available for those that qualify. Here are a few options to consider if you don’t have health insurance:
Employers: Your workplace may offer free flu shots by administering them at your place of employment or by providing flu shot vouchers.
Schools: Some schools and colleges may offer free flu shots for students, faculty, and staff — as well as their families and the community in some cases.
Veterans Affairs: Veterans are generally eligible through Veterans Affairs for free flu shots at local health centers or pharmacies.
Nonprofits: Some local community groups may offer free flu shots. For example, the United Way of Central Georgia teamed up with FamilyWize, a prescription discount service, to offer free flu vaccines at local Walgreens pharmacies.
Check Out: How to Get Health Insurance Without a Job
7 reasons to get a flu shot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months old should get a flu shot every year. Several types of influenza vaccinations exist, so it’s a good idea to check with your doctor or healthcare provider if you don’t know which one is right for you.
Here are seven key reasons why people of all ages should consider receiving an annual flu shot, according to the CDC:
Helps prevent the flu: Getting a flu shot can help protect you from getting sick with different different types of the influenza virus.
Minimizes flu symptoms: A flu shot can help reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do contract the flu.
Reduces the risk of hospitalization: Flu shots help reduce the chances that you’ll end up in the hospital due to the flu. Between 2019 and 2022, flu vaccinations prevented an estimated 105,000 hospitalizations, according to the CDC.
Helps protect people with underlying health issues: If you have certain chronic health conditions — such as heart disease, diabetes, or chronic lung disease — a flu shot can help prevent your health issues from getting worse should you get the flu.
Reduces health risks during pregnancy: Getting a flu shot while pregnant helps prevent you from getting the flu and can also protect your baby from the flu for the first few months of life.
Helps protect children: Kids as young as 6 months old can get flu shots to help reduce the risk of severe influenza. Flu vaccines reduce the risk of children contracting life-threatening influenza by around 75%, according to a 2022 study published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Protects the community: Getting a flu shot can help protect the people around you, especially high-risk populations, which includes babies, children, older people, and people with chronic health conditions.
What are the costs of other vaccines?
In addition to the flu shot, the CDC recommends that all adults should receive the following vaccines:
COVID-19: Vaccines and boosters that help protect people against serious cases of the COVID-19 virus are free of charge.
Td or Tdap: These vaccines help prevent tetanus infections and are recommended for infants, kids, preteens, teens, and adults. Though health insurance typically covers the cost of this vaccine, it can cost between $75 and $95 without insurance.
Keep in Mind
Depending on your age and health, travel habits, and lifestyle, you may need other types of vaccines. Check in with your doctor or healthcare provider about the vaccinations you may need.