Flu Vaccine Cost

Price of a Flu Shot

Last Updated on December 24, 2022 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on April 20, 2014 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

It’s a general fear for people to get the annual shot to prevent them from getting the flu, and they use as the main excuse the cost of this injection.

So, how much does a flu shot cost?

Usually, you won`t have to spend more than $30, and sometimes the price is as low as $10, depending on where you’ll go to get your flu shot. In addition, if you are one of the lucky people to have Part B Medicare, the flu shot could turn out to be free.

Why Isn’t The Flu Shot Free?

Many individuals, companies, households, families, health officials, and even government bodies see the flu shot as a public concern. Being available for such a long time makes a lot of people wonder why isn’t it free by now.

Do You Need A Shingles Vaccine? Check Out Its Price Here

It’s surprising that the flu shots have so low prices, says Center for Disease Control and Prevention representatives (CDC), They have this opinion, knowing the high costs of manufacturing and distributing the flu shots nationwide and the logistical headaches that it creates.

The first issue is that each year the influenza vaccine has to be made in fresh batches. In order to create the vaccine, scientists closely study the prevalent flu strains from the southern hemisphere in the winter, which corresponds to the US summer.

As soon as all the strains are identified, the next year’s vaccine will be made in February. The next step requires the pharmaceutical companies to make very accurate guesses on how many vaccines to produce, many months before each flu season will begin because a lot of people will refuse to take the flu shot.

What makes this vaccine different from any others is the fact that the flu shot can only be used from September to January each year, then everything that remains will be discarded. It could be a very costly waste for pharmaceutical companies if they make too many vaccines and they end up destroying a lot of them.

As an example, the year 2012 meant a lot of waste for those companies because it featured a light flu season and over 30 million doses had to be destroyed. The costs for the vaccines are approximately $13 per dose for the healthcare providers, and that’s the cost without any distribution expenses.

The Cost of a Flu Shot at Major Pharmacies

Pharmacy Flu shot cost
Walgreen ・Flu-Afluria2: $40.99
・Flu-Fluarix2: $40.99
Walmart ・Flublok-quadrivalent: $76.50
・Fluzone High-Dose: $76.50
・Fluzone-quadrivalent: $36.88
Costco Pricing reflects Costco Member Prescription Program Discount Card, which may vary by location.
・Fluad: $46.99
・Afluria and Flucelvax: $19.99
CVS ・Quadrivalent (standard vaccine): $40.99
・Flublok-quadrivalent: $73.99
・Fluzone High Dose or Fluad: $73.99

You can also get your vaccinations at an urgent care center, flu shots being included in the services they offer. You can find below the out-of-pocket costs of the flu shots when opting for urgent care centers.

The Cost of a Flu Shot at Urgent Care Centers

Urgent Care Cost
CityMD High Dose: $65
Regular Dose: $30
PatientFirst Regular Dose: $35
Physician One Beginning Monday, October 4 the cost for a flu shot for uninsured patients is $25.
CVS MinuteClinic Seasonal high dose (ages 65yr+): $74
Seasonal Flublok (ages 18yr+): $74
Seasonal (ages 18mth+): $50
AG Urgent Care Flu – High dose: $52
Flu Vaccine for Children (all doses): $0
Flu – Seasonal: $25
Flu – Quadrivalent: $25
Flu – Intradermal: $25

Low-Cost Clinics

Your best bet to finding cheap flu shots will be your local health office if you have a large family or you aren’t covered by any insurance.

If You Want To Get Health Insurance, Check Out The Price In This Article!

A great deal will be to try and get the flu shots closer to the end of the vaccination period, when some healthcare providers offer the excess shots for free, just before they expire. Your local health and Human Services’ website will offer details about upcoming programs for the community, that involve flu shots and details about their prices. Expect a cost range from free to $20.

Senior Centers

If you are a senior citizen you might already be aware of the fact that you are prone to getting the flu, so senior citizens are encouraged to take flu shots. Most privately run senior center facilities offer flu shots at subsidized prices.

The common prices will be between $15 and $30 per shot. Another great tip is that these clinics don’t limit their offers to seniors, anyone can walk in and take the flu shot.

Local Pharmacy

One of the most convenient ways to get the flu shot for a great price is to go to your local pharmacy. They offer their vaccines at $25 and $40.

Private Clinics

Doctor appointments will cost the most for the flu vaccines but will be readily available whenever you want to take them. The price can reach $200 if you take into account the flu shot price of $15 to $50 and the office visit fee that ranges between 10$ and $150.

The Cost of Other Vaccines

Depending on your insurance plan, the cost of the vaccines you should get will also vary. Keep in mind that having private insurance will enable you to get access to most of the recommended vaccines with a small copayment and even free, depending on your insurance plan.

You will also be able to get most of the vaccines for almost free as long as you are under the Medicare Part B plan. Among the included vaccines, you will get the flu shot, the hepatitis B vaccine if you’re known with a pre-existing condition, and the pneumococcal disease vaccine. If instead, you are under the Part D plan of Medicare, you will be entitled to the Tdap Vaccine and the Shingles vaccine for free.

The actual price paid by adults for their vaccines when they are covered by Medicaid will come down to their state. People covered by Medicaid will usually get access to flu shots for free. People that are not covered by insurance will have out-of-pocket costs for these vaccines depending on the actual vaccines and the place where they choose to get vaccinated.

The Out-of-Pocket Cost for Different Vaccines

Vaccine Type Cost Per Dose Range  
Varicella $82.04 – $135.73
Tdap $24.89 – $46.80
Td Booster $16.27 – $25.88
Shingles $101.51 – $151.41
Pneumococcal $62.69 – $202.00
MMR $48.86 – $78.68
HPV $140.59 – $227.93
Hepatitis B $25.43 – $121.25
Hepatitis A $32.86 -$109.13

Recommended Vaccines

Getting the Flu VaccineAll adults are recommended to take several vaccines in the United States. For starters, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) says that all adults in the United States should take yearly flu shots (influenza vaccine). Adults should also consider getting the Tdap vaccine to make sure they are protected against whooping cough, especially if they didn’t get this disease in their adulthood. About ten years after the Tdap vaccine, adults should also get the Td booster.

Adults between the ages of 19 and 26 should also consider getting the HPV vaccine, to make sure they are protected against a few types of cancers. The pneumococcal vaccine, the shingles vaccine, and a few other vaccines are recommended for adults that are 50 or older. Adults with pre-existing conditions, as well as people working in the healthcare system should receive some additional vaccines, including vaccines against hepatitis B, hepatitis A, and MMR.

Should the average working Joe get a flu shot?

It’s always a great idea to get vaccinated. Even if the topic is thoroughly discussed nowadays, it’s a fact that vaccinations can keep you away from very nasty diseases and could potentially save your life. Vaccination isn’t all that expensive and it’s nothing compared to your health and general well-being.

Alec Pow
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