The flu virus has caused between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses in the U.S. each year since 2010. Those cases resulted in between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations, and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So the flu is nothing to sneeze at.
The CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Even though this year’s vaccine reportedly is less than completely effective, experts say that if you do get the flu, it will likely be less severe if you have gotten a flu shot.
Where to get FREE or cheap flu shots in New York City right now:
The rules first:
Under the federal Affordable Care Act – also called Obamacare – insurance plans created after March 23, 2010 (which is just about every plan available) are required to provide some types of FREE preventive care, including immunizations. 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 – 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.
See more discounts and deals for seniors on the NYCOTC Discounts for Seniors page.
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. Unfortunately, CVS is not posting prices on its website, so if you are not covered by insurance, ask before you get stuck. ExtraBucks rewards members also get a $5 coupon for a $25 purchase on your next visit.
- Through March 31st, 2018, score a FREE $5 Target coupon after you receive a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations located inside Target stores. The coupon can then be redeemed for Target merchandise at any Target store.
Rite Aid – Rite Aid also is not posting flu shot prices on its website, but does tell you that loyalty club members get 25 Wellness Points.
You can also get FREE flu shots in NYC at Sam’s Club locations with pharmacies, and walk-in urgent care locations such as CityMD without an appointment.