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A Simple Guide to Getting a Flu Shot This Year

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I was at the pharmacy with my dad and remembered that my mom said I needed to get the flu shot, as she had the week before. It was a really simple process — the pharmacist took our information and a few minutes later we were signing papers to verify we knew what we were getting into, and bam: flu shots. Then we got $5 dollar gift cards, which were promptly spent on cat food. It’s like getting a lollipop, except instead you get to feed your cats, who may or may not like what you serve them.

You might not think it’s flu season yet, but I’d like to remind you that autumn is in full swing. It’s also important to note that those of us with chronic illness, along with children and the elderly, are more susceptible to viral infections. Of course, if you are unsure of whether you can get a flu shot, be sure to check with your doctor (I did a few years back). If you are a regular healthy person I would also recommend that you get ahead of things and get your vaccination as well.

These days it is much easier to find and get a flu shot, as you often don’t even have to visit your doctor. Many pharmacists have gone through training to administer vaccinations. So I give you a list of convenient pharmacies to get your shot:

1. Visit a CVS pharmacy at a CVS store (as an adult) for your shot and receive a 20 percent off shopping pass. Minutes Clinics in the store (if available) can also provide shots for anyone including children.

2. Visit a CVS pharmacy at a Target store (as an adult) for your shot and receive a $5 Target gift card. Minutes Clinics in the store (if available) can also provide shots for anyone including children.

3. Visit a Walgreens pharmacy for your shot and provide a vaccine for a child in need.

4. Visit a Rite-Aid pharmacy for a flu shot and receive 25 wellness points.

5. Visit a Wal-Mart pharmacy for a flu shot.

6. Visit a Kroger pharmacy for a flu shot and they’ll donate a meal to Feeding America. The Little Clinics in the store (if available) can also provide shots for anyone, including children.

If these pharmacies or your own aren’t convenient for you, you can always go to an urgent care or ask your primary care physician about receiving your vaccination. It should also be noted that there might be age limitations for your pharmacist to adhere to. If your insurance does not happen to cover your shot, it typically costs at most around $45 for the quadrivalent (4-strain) variety and $65 for the high-dose variety (meant for those 65+), and less for all others.

If absolutely none of this was helpful to you in acquiring a flu shot, take it as a simple reminder and Google “flu shot near me.” Millions of Americans get influenza every year, so try and do your best not to be one of them and get your vaccination!

Editor’s note: Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

Originally published: October 11, 2016
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