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How Much Does a Flu Shot Cost?

Flu Shot Cost

Lots of people fear getting this annual injection meant to keep flu at bay and the main excuse they hide behind is the cost.

So, how much does a flu shot cost?

The cost usually lies between $10 and $30 depending on where you get your shot from. In addition, if you have a Part B Medicare cover, then the flu shot may not cost you a thing.

Why Isn’t The Flu Shot Free?

The flu shot is a public concern for many individuals, families, households, companies, health officials, and government bodies. It has been around for a very long time and thus, many wonder why it is not yet free by now.

Actually, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it should be surprising that the flu shot costs as little as it does. This is because manufacturing and distributing the shots nationwide is a very expensive process full of logistical headaches.

First of all, each year the influenza vaccine has to be made afresh. The process of creating the vaccine begins by closely studying the prevalent flu strains in the southern hemisphere during winter, which corresponds to the American summer.

Flu Shot CostOnce all the strains have been identified, the current year’s vaccine is then made from February. The pharmaceutical companies have to make nearly accurate guesses on how much of the vaccine to produce many months before the flu season begins since not everyone will come for one.

Unlike other vaccines, the flu shot can only be used between September to January, then all that remains has to be discarded. So the pharmaceutical companies cannot make as much as they can since it may just end up as costly waste.

For instance, 2012 proved to be a light flu season and more than 30 million doses had to go to waste and be destroyed. Yet production costs alone for the vaccines costs healthcare providers approximately $13 per dose even before distribution.

Low Cost Clinics

If you have a large family or you are not covered by insurance, your best bet for finding cheap flu shots would be your local health and human services office.

In fact, they at times offer the excess shots for free before they expire. Go to your local health and Human Services’ website to get details on upcoming community action programs that involve flu shots to find out cost details. Charges range from free to $20.

Senior Centers

Senior citizens are particularly prone to getting the flu and are encouraged to go for vaccinations in high numbers. Most privately run senior center facilities offer flu shots at subsidized prices.

Typical prices range between $15 and $30 per shot. The good news is that they do not limit these offers to only people above 55 years old but anyone can walk in and get vaccinated.

Local Pharmacy

Probably the most convenient way to get a flu shot affordably is to go into your local pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens. They will charge you between $25 and $40. The only problem is that for walk in clients, the pharmacies usually do not honor insurance plans such as Medicare.

Private Clinics

If you schedule a doctor’s appointment, then you will possibly undergo the most expensive flu vaccination in the market so far.

This is because you may be charged between $15 and $50 for the shot and this will be accompanied by an office visit fee which ranges between $10 and $150. So you may end up getting the shot for $200.

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