Get Flu Shots
With over 135 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine available this year, everyone should be able to get a flu vaccine. And that is good news, especially since the flu vaccine recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) continue to state that all persons 6 months and older should get a yearly flu shot.
Find a Flu Shot
A good supply of flu shots doesn't necessarily mean that every family will be able to get a flu vaccine for their kids though, as flu shots aren't necessarily cheap.
Large numbers of kids without insurance and other family's without the money to cover doctor copays could make you think that a flu shot is too expensive this year.
If your kids get sick with the flu you may find that it is even more expensive though, especially if you have to take time off work, not even considering any doctor or hospital expenses. There are places to get low cost or free flu shots for kids though.
Free Flu Shots
Fortunately, the 2012 flu vaccine is covered by most insurance plans that cover other childhood immunizations, including Medicaid. If you have health insurance for your kids, you might see if flu shots are covered and if any extra flu shot administration fees your doctor charges are also covered.
For those families that need help getting a flu shot for their kids, some sources of free flu shots to consider might include:
- your local health department
- a pediatrician that participates in the Vaccines for Children program
- a local health clinic that gives other free or low cost vaccines
- a church sponsored flu clinic
- a school based flu clinic
Keep in mind that some of these types of flu clinics may charge a small flu shot administration fee.
National pharmacies, including Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS, and many grocery store pharmacies, like at Kroger, Tom Thumb, and Walmart, can be another place to get low cost flu shots for older kids. Many are giving flu shots to kids who are at least 4 years old for between $24 to $29.99.
Free Flu Shots at Walgreens
Last year, Walgreens gave away more than 300,000 free flu shots to people who can't afford a flu shot. This continues the program where Walgreens gave away $10 million worth of flu shots in 2010.
Vouchers for the free Walgreens flu shots, which were available on a first come, first-served basis while supplies last, were given away at local health departments.
CDC. Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2012-13 Influenza Season. MMWR. August 17, 2012 / 61(32);613-618