How much does a flu shot cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a flu shot cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a flu shot cost?

$20 – $80standard flu shot (without insurance)
$50 – $100high-dose flu shot for adults 65+ (without insurance)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$20 – $80 standard flu shot (without insurance)

$50 – $100 high-dose flu shot for adults 65+ (without insurance)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Kristen Cramer
Written by
Kristen Cramer
Edited by
Sarah Noel

Flu shot cost without insurance

The cost of a flu shot without insurance is $20 to $80 on average, depending on the pharmacy. A high-dose flu vaccine for adults aged 65+ costs $50 to $100 without insurance. Most health insurance plans cover the full cost of the flu shot at major pharmacies and urgent care centers.

Flu shot cost without insurance - Chart
Flu shot cost without insurance - Chart
Flu shot cost without insurance
Flu vaccine Average cost without insurance
Quadrivalent flu vaccine $20 – $80
Fluzone High Dose / Fluad (Adults 65+) $50 – $100
Flublok (egg-free) vaccine $50 – $100

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The cost of a flu shot at major pharmacies

The table below shows the out-of-pocket cost to get the flu vaccine at major pharmacy chains.

Flu vaccine cost at major pharmacies
Pharmacy Standard flu shot cost
(without insurance)
High-dose / Fluad flu shot cost
(without insurance)
CVS flu shot cost $75.00 $103.00
Walgreens flu shot cost $42.49 $76.99
Walmart flu shot cost $83.06 $99.04
Costco* $19.99 $46.99

*Membership required.

A doctor or pharmacist giving a vaccination to a female patient.
A doctor or pharmacist giving a vaccination to a female patient.

Where to get a free or low-cost flu shot

There are several ways to get free or discounted flu shots, depending on your location. Many community centers, non-profit groups, and state or county health departments offer the flu vaccine to individuals who are uninsured or who meet specific criteria.

Vaccines for Children program

The Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) is a federally funded nationwide program that provides free vaccines to children whose parents or guardians can't afford them. To be eligible for the program, the child must meet any of the following criteria:

  • Medicaid-eligible

  • Uninsured

  • Underinsured

  • American Indian or Alaskan Native

Though the vaccine itself is free, your local provider may charge a fee for the doctor to administer the shot. However, if the family cannot afford it, the fee must be waived because a VFC-eligible child can't be refused a vaccination due to the family's inability to pay.

A nurse or pharmacist giving a vaccination to a young girl.
A nurse or pharmacist giving a vaccination to a young girl.

Local health centers

Many local health centers offer free or low-cost vaccines to individuals who are unable to afford them. Some centers charge a sliding-scale fee ranging from free to $25, based on your income. Look for a health center near you on the Health Center Program website.

During flu season, many community centers also offer a vaccination clinic, a one-day program where doctors and nurses volunteer to give free vaccines to local residents in need.

Nonprofit voucher programs

Nonprofit organizations like the United Way offer free flu shot vouchers to uninsured and underinsured individuals and families. The organization partners with local pharmacies where you can redeem the voucher. Requirements and availability vary depending on your location.

Employer vaccine programs

Check with your employer to learn about free or discounted flu shot options. Some employers offer free on-site vaccination clinics, while others partner with specific pharmacies to negotiate discounted or free vaccines for their employees.

State-funded programs & county health departments

Many state-funded programs and county health departments offer free or discounted flu vaccines during flu season. Requirements vary by location. These programs typically offer low-cost flu shots to uninsured adults and free flu shots to uninsured or underinsured children less than 18 years old.

Prescription savings clubs & coupons

Prescription savings clubs are available online and through most major pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and more. These savings clubs typically provide discounts of up to 20% on vaccines and earn bonus points you can spend on other products at the pharmacy.

GoodRx and FamilyWize offer coupons for discounts on flu vaccines at local pharmacies.

Other free flu shot options

Students, military veterans, and seniors may be eligible for free flu shots from other providers:

  • Most colleges offer free flu shots for students, with many schools also offering vaccination clinics on campus at the start of flu season for convenience.

  • Veterans who receive health care through the VA can get a free flu shot at their nearest VA medical facility.

  • Many senior centers hold on-site vaccination clinics offering free flu shots to local residents aged 65+.

A doctor or pharmacist giving a vaccination to a senior man.
A doctor or pharmacist giving a vaccination to a senior man.

What is the flu?

The flu is a highly contagious infection caused by the influenza virus, which attacks the nose, throat, and often the lungs. Common flu symptoms include body aches, headache, fever, chills, cough, congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and fatigue.

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Though many people who catch the flu experience only mild symptoms, the virus can cause severe illness and even death.

Why should I get a flu shot?

The flu shot reduces your risk of catching the flu by up to 60%. A vaccination greatly reduces the severity of the illness if you get the flu and minimizes your chance of requiring hospitalization.

Vaccination also protects your family and others. After your body builds immunity—typically within two weeks of getting the flu shot—you won't spread the virus to other people.

Flu shot FAQs

When should I get a flu shot?

The CDC recommends getting a flu shot early in the fall before flu season begins, ideally by no later than October because it takes your body up to two weeks to develop flu antibodies after vaccination. Flu season typically runs from October to May.

The number of cases often peaks several times throughout the season due to people gathering during the holidays. If you're unable to get vaccinated by the end of October, getting vaccinated later in the season is still recommended for protection against the usual peaks.

Do I need to get a flu shot every year?

Yes, you need to get a flu shot every year because influenza viruses are constantly changing and new strains appear regularly. Flu vaccine manufacturers review and alter the vaccines each year to protect against the latest strains.

Who should get a flu shot?

The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age or older. Getting a flu shot every year helps you avoid serious illness and prevents the spread of the virus.

Individuals in any of the following high-risk groups should get a flu shot early in the fall:

  • Adults aged 65 or older

  • Children under 5 years old

  • Patients with a compromised immune system

  • Anyone with a chronic illness like diabetes, asthma, or disease in the heart, kidneys, or liver

  • Residents of all ages in nursing homes or assisted living facilities

  • Pregnant women or those up to two weeks postpartum

Is the flu vaccine safe?

Yes, the flu vaccine is safe and effective. Getting the vaccine is much safer than getting the flu.

According to the CDC, the flu kills up to 61,000 people and hospitalizes another 140,000 to 800,000+ every year. Even if you still get the flu, being vaccinated minimizes your symptoms and significantly reduces your chances of hospitalization or death.

Is the flu shot safe if I'm pregnant?

Flu shots are safe for pregnant women. The CDC strongly recommends the flu vaccine for pregnant women or within two weeks after delivery as pregnancy can put you and your baby at a higher risk for catching the flu.

For decades, millions of pregnant women received a flu shot without incident.

Does the flu shot have side effects?

Mild side effects after getting a flu shot will typically resolve within 2 to 3 days.

Common side effects include:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site

  • Slight fever

  • Minor muscle aches

What other steps can I take to prevent the flu?

After getting a flu shot, protect yourself and others from catching or spreading the flu in these ways:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you don't have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze to prevent the airborne spread of the virus. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your elbow to prevent contaminating your hands.

  • During flu season from October to May, wear a mask in crowded places like stores, schools, office buildings, or on public transportation.

  • Stay home and avoid contact with other people if you have any symptoms of the flu or other illnesses.