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.**
This year’s best price winner is Costco at $14.99 for the standard trivalent flu shot and this price is also available to non-members! Check out my full list for other pharmacies and their price comparisons.
Flu Vaccination Types: (from the CDC website):
Standard (trivalent) and Quadrivalent:
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):
The CDC announced in June of 2016 that the nasal spray vaccine/flu mist would not be offered in the coming flu season.
The high dose flu shot is available for individuals 65 and older and is free with medicare so I did not do separate pricing for it.
$$$ Prices from low to high (tax not included) $$$:
Costco: $14.99 standard. The three Costco’s I called said they did not carry the quadrivalent this season.
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-$25 standard, $30 quadrivalent
*According to their site you DO NOT need a Sam’s Club Membership to use their Pharmacy for Rx medications. 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.
Walmart: $20-$27.88 standard, $32.54 quadrivalent.
Kmart: $22.49-$27.99 trivalent, $32.99-$43.99 quadrivalent.
*Kmart now offers a special savings club, called “Pharmacy Savings Plus” which comes with an annual fee of $10/person or $15/household. In addition to special savings, the membership knocks 25% off the cost of immunizations. If Kmart is your preferred store and you have a brood to immunize, that’s definitely worth the $15 annual fee.
Walgreens: $31.99 trivalent, $39.99 quadrivalent.
Target (CVS at Target): $39.99 quadrivalent. *I was told by three different pharmacists (and they didn’t say why) that CVS at Target stores nationwide are not carrying trivalent flu shots this season.
CVS: $39.99 quadrivalent.
Rite Aid: $32.99 standard, $39.99 quadrivalent.
Have a store or pharmacy to add? Have a pricing update? Feel free to leave a comment below and please include your city and state!