How much does a flu shot cost? $19.99 at Costco, $50 at CVS MinuteClinic. Here’s a price list, and map.

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Flu shot costs are all over the map. For some of us it doesn’t matter: Many people have their whole cost covered by insurance, get their shot for free at work, or have a low enough co-pay. For others it matters a lot: imagine a family of five who’s uninsured.

If you are covered by a plan through your state’s Affordable Care Act exchange, Healthcare.gov or Medicare, your flu shot should cost $0. Medicaid coverage varies by state. You should check first by calling the office to be sure. Here’s an information rundown from the Centers for Disease Control.

Looking for prices? A good place to start is HealthMap’s Vaccine Finder, which lists providers and allows you to narrow locations based the type of dose you need. You can search for locations by ZIP Code or allow the site to pinpoint your location for you.

The best way to find flu vaccine prices

Vaccine Finder lists only some prices, unfortunately, and many pharmacies do not list prices on their own websites. If you want to know for certain the cost of the vaccine at your pharmacy, call them and ask for the out-of-pocket price and, if you have insurance, the cost with your coverage. Calling ahead can also save you a trip to the pharmacy if it’s temporarily out of the vaccine.

ind of flu vaccine should you get?

If you are 64 or younger or have a child older than 6 months, the CDC recommends a normal flu shot, called a quadrivalent, while people 65 and older should take a higher-dose vaccine called a trivalent.

Beyond that, the CDC isn’t choosy about which vaccine you should get. For most people it has “no preference” for one type of vaccine over another, according to its website. Nasal mist vaccines are fine, as are vaccines made without egg proteins, known by the brand name Flublok. (If you have an egg allergy, ask your doctor whether you should visit a clinic to get your vaccine instead of at a pharmacy.)

Flu shot out-of-pocket costs

We’ve listed below the cost of flu shots at some large national pharmacies. The price may not apply to your location, so call ahead if you want to make sure.

For the following prices, normal dose refers to the quadrivalent shot recommended by the CDC for adults younger than 65, and high dose refers to the trivalent shot recommended for those older than 65. Flublok refers to the egg-free vaccine and FluMist to the needle-free vaccine.

Walgreens

  • Normal dose: $41*
  • High dose: $69.99*
  • Flublok: Does not carry
  • FluMist: Does not carry
  • Sources: Spokeswoman and calls to individual Walgreens pharmacy locations

*A spokeswoman did not confirm nationwide prices. These numbers are based on calls made to individual Walgreens pharmacies.

CVS Pharmacy

  • Normal dose: $39.99
  • High dose: $69.99
  • Flublok: Does not carry
  • FluMist: Does not carry
  • Sources: Spokesperson and CVS website

CVS MinuteClinic

  • Normal dose: $50
  • High dose: $70
  • Flublok: $70
  • FluMist: Does not carry
  • Sources: Spokesperson and MinuteClinic website

Costco

  • Normal dose: $19.99
  • High dose: Does not carry “[d]ue to limited availability.”
  • Flublok (egg-free): Does not carry
  • FluMist: Refused to comment.
  • Sources: Spokespersons and Costco website

*Generally, no membership is required to use the store’s pharmacy. Check with your local Costco to make sure.

Rite Aid

  • Normal dose: $39.99
  • High dose: $76.99-$78.99
  • Flublok (egg-free): $54.99
  • FluMist (no needle): Does not carry
  • Source: Spokesman

 

Help us make it easier to compare prices

ClearHealthCosts is creating a community-created guide to healthcare prices. To help everyone compare prices for flu shots and other medical procedures, we’re both reporting prices from providers, and also crowdsourcing prices from you. So far, the lowest price of the normal dose is $19.99, and the highest is $40. . For the higher dose that’s recommended for people age 65 and older, the lowest price is $69.99 and the highest $78.99

When you’ve gotten your shot, tell us how much it cost by clicking the Share Your Prices link. Your response in our “PriceCheck” form will make it easier for others to save money