Here we go again: flu season arrives in October, and it's crucial that you get the flu shot if you're able to protect both yourself and those around you. Don't put it off, either — while it's better late than never, experts recommend getting vaccinated before the season begins, since the vaccine takes about two weeks to take effect. Fortunately, it's easy to get a flu shot, and at many places, it's free!
Getting a flu shot doesn't have to mean waiting for an appointment in congested waiting rooms at doctors' offices or urgent care clinics. There are plenty of major retailers that have in-store pharmacies that take most major medical insurance plans, leaving you with peace of mind and without a hefty bill. Keep reading for a list of all the places you can find a free flu shot this year. Just remember to check on any age restrictions before you head out!
- Walgreens/Duane Reade: Walgreens and its sister company Duane Reade offer flu shots that are free with most insurance at their locations. You can find the location nearest you here and schedule an appointment or just walk in.
- CVS/Target: The pharmacy chain offers flu shots that may be free, depending on your insurance plan, as well as $5 off a $25 purchase when you get the shot. CVS provides flu vaccines at its pharmacies, as well as its Minute Clinics inside of Target stores — find the one nearest you here.
- Rite Aid: Flu shots at Rite Aid are free with most insurance plans, and you can walk in without an appointment. You can find the location nearest you here.
- Walmart: You can get a free flu shot at Walmart with most insurances. Look for the store nearest you here.
- Sam's Club: Like its parent company, Sam's Club offers free flu shots under most insurance plans, and you aren't required to have a membership to go to the pharmacy. You can find the warehouse nearest you here.
- Kroger: If you have insurance coverage, you can probably get a flu shot for free at any Kroger Pharmacy. Find the nearest store to you here.
- Costco: Costco offers the flu shot free with most insurance plans, and you can use their pharmacy services even without a Costco membership. You can find the warehouse nearest you here.
- Safeway: Safeway pharmacies provide flu shots for free with most insurance plans, and there's no appointment needed (although you can schedule one if you choose). Find the location nearest you here.
- Publix Super Markets: The pharmacies in this grocery chain offer free flu shots to most people with insurance. Plus, anyone who gets the shot will be given a $10 Publix gift card. You can find the store nearest you here.
- Stop & Shop/Giant/Martin's: Pharmacies inside Stop & Shop, Giant, and Martin's stores offer free flu shots with most insurances. You can find the location nearest you here for Stop & Shop, Giant, and Martin's, respectively.
- Food Lion: Pharmacies inside Food Lion offer free flu shots with most insurances, no appointment necessary. You can find the location nearest you here.