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Where to get a flu shot

You might be able to get one for free.

By Karen Datko Oct 6, 2009 10:22PM

This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

It's always possible to get an influenza vaccination unless the vaccine is in short supply, but it's another matter to find a free flu shot. If you're elderly or in another at-risk group, you stand the best chance of getting a free shot. If you're healthy and can afford spending $20, I recommend you leave the freebies for those less fortunate and pay for your shot.

Where can you find a free flu shot?

Your employer. Many companies offer flu shots to employees because it makes business sense. Ask your company's medical services department or human resources department if flu shots are provided. If they aren't, recommend that your company investigate the idea. Explain how offering a $20 shot for free is better than having to put up with lost productivity when people take sick days.

In my short working life, the two companies I've worked for both offered a flu shot. Since  everyone in the company generally gets the shot -- free is a great incentive -- you may have to wait a little while.

Your insurer. Call your medical insurance provider to find out how to get a flu shot that will be covered. Sometimes you have to go to someone in the network or jump through hoops. Just make sure you're jumping through the right ones.

Your city or state health department. Health departments, in an effort to prevent flu outbreaks, often set up times when free or subsidized flu shots will be administered to the general public. You may have to stand in line. This option may be best for folks who have more time than money, or whose budgets don't allow a $20 shot.

If $20 seems like nothing to you, I would invite you to go with the next option.

Pay for it. Find a Flu Shot is a Web site that provides locations of flu shot clinics at retailers like Rite Aid and Costco. The vaccinations cost $20 to $30.

Other articles of interest at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity:

Published July 9, 2008



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