Is it really that time of year again? If you’re in the market for a flu shot but either don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover flu shots, it can be such a pain to find the best price. For three years running, I’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and for the third year in a row, I am stunned at the price differences out there. By simply checking this list first, a family of five could spend a total of $74.95 instead $164.95, a huge savings of $90!
The below prices are the cash price, without going through health insurance. To help ensure accuracy, I called three different locations from each store/pharmacy (in Charleston, SC and surrounding areas in January of 2016) and was quoted the below prices.Please note that prices may vary depending on your location, special promotions being run, etc. so I strongly recommend calling the location you prefer to confirm price and availability when scheduling your appointment, particularly since many stores run out of the different vaccination types or have long lines this time of year. Some stores also run special promotions, offer coupons, or match competitor prices so check your local ads and store policies before you head out the door.**
<<<2017 UPDATE: Click HERE for the 2016 price list.>>>
Thinking of getting a flu shot? Don’t have insurance and not sure where to go for the best price? Flu season is in full swing so when it came time for us to get our flu shots, I priced out the cheapest options for individuals without health insurance forthe regular flu shot. To help ensure accuracy, I called two different locations from each of the following stores and pharmacies (in Charleston, SC & in January of 2016) and was quoted the below prices. **I do not represent any of the companies listed below. Please note that prices may vary depending on your location and are subject to change at any time so I strongly recommend calling and confirming the price when scheduling your appointment, particularly since many stores run out of the different vaccination types. Some stores also run special promotions, offer coupons, or match competitor prices so always check before you head out the door.**
This year’s best price winner is Costco at $14.99 for the standard trivalent flu shot. Check out my full list for other pharmacies and their price comparisons.
Traditional flu vaccines made to protect against three different flu viruses (called “trivalent” vaccines) are available. In addition, flu vaccines made to protect against four different flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines) also are available.
Nasal spray flu vaccine (also called flu mist):
All nasal spray flu vaccines for the 2015-2016 season will provide protection against four flu viruses: an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus and two influenza B viruses.
Sorted by Price (tax not included):
Costco: $14.99 standard. The two Costco’s I called said they do not carry either quadrivalent or the mist.
According to their corporate policy, ANYONE can use Costco’s Pharmacy where required by law, with no membership required. Yay! If you don’t have a membership, it’s not a bad idea to print out their pharmacy policy to take with you just in case.
Sam’s Club: $14.99-$20 standard, $30 quadrivalent. They do no carry the nasal spray vaccine.
*According to their site you DO NOT need a Sam’s Club Membership to use their Pharmacy for Rx medications. Although unclear whether flu shots are included in that rule, it does say at most a 10% service fee is added to all other nonmember purchases from the pharmacy so still a great deal. If you don’t have a membership, it’s not a bad idea to print out their pharmacy policy to take with you just in case.
Target: $24.99 standard, $31.99 quadrivalent, $31.99 nasal spray vaccine. *If you have a Costco in your area, many Targets do price match.
Walmart: $25 standard, $30 quadrivalent. They do not carry the nasal spray vaccine.
Kmart: $27.99-$29.99 standard, $37.99-$39.99 quadrivalent. They do not carry the nasal spray vaccine. *Please note that they offered a few trivalent options ranging up to $55 but the least expensive was $27.99-$29.99, though the pharmacists did confirm that prices vary by store. Please call ahead of time to confirm availability and price.
CVS: $31.99 trivalent, $34.99-$56.99 quadrivalent. They do not carry the nasal spray vaccine.
Walgreens: $31.99 trivalent, $39.99 quadrivalent. Both stores I called no longer carried the nasal spray vaccine, and said Walgreens had only received limited quantities per location, and were unable able to quote me a price.
Have a store or pharmacy to add? Care to list a pricing update? Feel free to leave a comment below!