Where to get free or almost free flu shots in metro Atlanta

CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older get a flu shot before the end of October

How to Navigate Flu Season in Light of the Coronavirus Pandemic.With the ongoing COVID-19pandemic, experts have said it is crucial to get a flu vaccine this season.Here are some tips for how to go about protecting yourself this flu season.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages anyone six months and older to get a vaccine every year.The CDC also recommends getting your flu shot no later than the end of October, as it takes some time to become fully protective.For those skeptical of the flu vaccine, the CDC shares that while there are some slight side effects, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received the vaccine.Experts also add that there is currentlyno data to support whether the flu vaccine may protect individuals from COVID-19

Flu-related deaths in the United States have ranged from 12,000 to 61,000 annually over the past decade, according to the CDC.

That’s just one reason the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says everyone needs to get a flu shot. The annual flu vaccination is especially important this year, experts say, because hospitals are already struggling to care for coronavirus patients.

The CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older get a flu shot before the end of October because it can take two to four weeks to have full immunity.

If you’re worried about the cost, don’t worry. There are plenty of places to get a free or nearly free vaccination.

Your primary care doctor: “If you’re enrolled in a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or almost any private plan, your provider will cover the cost of the flu shot entirely,” according to Health.com. “That’s right, no copayment for your appointment, just protection from the flu — whether you’ve hit your yearly deductible yet or not.”

Urgent care: Many urgent care clinics stock the flu vaccine and provide them for free with insurance. Be sure to call ahead to make sure, however.

Costco: Flu vaccines are free with most insurance, and start at $19.99 for the uninsured. No membership is required.

County health departments: State-provided vaccines at the Fulton County Health Department cost $25 each, but no one will be turned away due to the inability to pay. Flu shots are also now available at all Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale county health departments. The seasonal flu vaccine is $25; the nasal spray flu vaccine is $47; and the high dose flu vaccine is $56. For payment, the health department accepts cash, debit cards, credit cards, Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. United Healthcare and Cigna are also accepted for state employees.

CVS: At pharmacies within CVS stores and Target stores, your flu shot may be free with insurance or Medicare Part B. There is no copay unless required by your plan. If you don’t have insurance, a seasonal vaccine is $40.99, or $73.99 for an egg-free or a high-dose vaccine. You’ll receive a coupon good for $5 off your next $20 purchase.

Walgreen’s: Flu shots are free with most insurance plans. Walgreen’s offers 4-strain flu vaccines to anyone age 3 or older, vaccines designed for seniors 65 and older and a preservative-free option if you’re pregnant or allergic to thiomersal/mercury.

Walmart and Sam’s Club: There is no out-of-pocket cost with most insurance plans. Contact your nearest pharmacy for availability and price for uninsured patients. At Sam’s Club stores with a pharmacy, vaccines are available for patients ages 6 and up and membership is not required.

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