Fall means cooler temperatures – and flu shots. Have you gotten your flu shot yet? You should. A flu shot won’t protect you from Covid-19, but it will protect you from the flu so you don’t suffer a double-whammy.
Symptoms are similar for the flu and for the Coronavirus, so it can be hard to tell the difference.
Both are viral infections. Similar symptoms include runny nose, headache, cough and fever. And yes, those are also the same symptoms of the common cold.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommends getting your flu shot both to reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care resources.
Protect yourself and your children with a FREE flu shot and protect yourself from the misery and the medical bills associated with the flu.
It’s also a good idea for adults – especially seniors – to get a FREE pneumonia shot to protect against the lung infection that can be part of Covid-19 or the flu.
Here’s where to get FREE or cheap flu shots so you don’t end 2022 or start 2023 sick with the flu.
Medical insurance coverage for flu shots
Under the federal Affordable Care Act – also called Obamacare – insurance plans created after March 23, 2010, are required to provide some types of FREE preventive care, including immunizations.
Since plans often change each year, that rule covers nearly every medical insurance plan available today.
If you have a new employer, or if you or your employer recently switched insurance plans, find out if flu shots are covered.
Probably, they are covered, since flu shots are far lest costly for insurance companies than an emergency room visit or hospital stay to treat it.
Medicare and Flu Shots
If you have Medicare Part B, your flu shot should be FREE. If you have private insurance, you may be able to get a flu shot either FREE or for the price of a copay.
Even if you don’t think flu shots are covered by your insurance, ask the billing department at your doctor’s office to call and find out.
If you are 65 or over, also consider a FREE shot to prevent shingles, and also the FREE shot to prevent pneumonia.
Note that if one location has run out of the shot you want, a neighboring location of the same chain might have it, or a competing location.
In NYC, where there’s a CVS, Duane Reade, Walgreen’s or Rite Aid on practically every block, it’s just a short walk from sold out to sit down.
Bring your medical insurance card and a photo id.
Seniors should get the flu vaccine know as high dose.
Where to Get a Flu Shot
Get $10 in rewards on the Walgreen’s loyalty program (free to join) for getting your flu shot.
That’s a good deal – as is the Walgreen’s Get a Shot, Give a Shot. program.
For every flu shot customers get, Walgreen’s donates a lifesaving measles and polio immunization to a child in need.
So far, according to the website, Walgreen’s has given away more than 100 million immunizations, through the United Nations Foundation, in countries including Afganistan.
So you are doing two good things at once – protecting yourself and protecting a vulnerable child somewhere in the world.
CVS and MinuteClinic –
FREE flu shots for Medicare Part B patients, including high dose flu shots for those 65 plus.
Pneumonia shots also are available in some locations.
ExtraBucks rewards members also get a $5 coupon for a $25 purchase on your next visit, through October 31.
Rite Aid now lets you make an appointment, and you can also check if your other immunizations – including Covid – are up to date.
Last year, Rite Aid loyalty club members received 25 Wellness Points for getting a flu shot. There’s nothing about that on the website in 2022, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
More places to get flu shots
You can also get FREE flu shots at Sam’s Club and Walmart locations with pharmacies, and walk-in urgent care locations everywhere without an appointment.
by entering your zipcode.
This was posted originally in November 2017 on NYC on the Cheap, which was hacked and destroyed in Feb. 2022, and now publishes as NYC Travel Guru.
This article has been updated for 2022 for a national audience.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and guidebook and smartphone app author – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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