管家婆精选四消期期准

Where to Get a Flu Shot

What’s the best place to get a flu shot — a doctor’s office, urgent-care center, pharmacy, or someplace else? And can you get a flu shot for free? Here’s how to find the best option for you.

Where-Are-the-Best-Places-to-Get-the-Flu-Vaccine-1440x810
For maximum flu-vaccine convenience, it’s hard to beat a pharmacy.iStock; Everyday Health

With flu season管家婆精选四消期期准 approaching and COVID-19 cases expected to surge again this fall, health-conscious Americans are doing all they can to protect themselves from a double-whammy of two potentially devastating viral illnesses.

The , telling everyone that getting a flu shot管家婆精选四消期期准 is more important than ever to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC is recommending that people get inoculated by the end of October.

管家婆精选四消期期准“By getting vaccinated for flu, you’re also protecting your loved ones and those around you by lessening the amount of flu that’s spread in the community,” says , an infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “This is especially important as we are continuing to see community spread and hospitalizations for COVID-19.”

RELATED: How to Prepare for the COVID-19 and Flu 'Twindemic'

Best Places to Get a Flu Shot

When you’re deciding where to get a flu shot, , medical director of infection control and prevention at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, suggests picking a locale that is convenient and comfortable.

管家婆精选四消期期准“I think most places meet the standards of storing, documenting, and administering the flu shot correctly,” says Dr. Safdar. “So you’re getting the same quality protection, no matter where you get the shot.”

That said, there are a few factors to keep in mind when deciding which location suits you best.

Doctor’s Offices

管家婆精选四消期期准If patients want answers to in-depth questions about side effects or other aspects of the inoculation, they may want to get the vaccination from their doctor, says Safdar.

Urgent Care Centers

Safdar notes that urgent care centers may be more crowded than other locations, so they potentially pose more of a risk for catching another illness. “You probably don’t want to be in a waiting room for too long, no matter where you go,” says Safdar. “I think urgent care is a little bit less attractive for a flu shot.”

Pharmacies

管家婆精选四消期期准, professor of public health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, gets his flu shot at a pharmacy. “It is quicker and doesn’t take time from my doctor to see more medical patients,” he says.

Pharmacies like and can be convenient because they offer walk-in treatment and the ability to schedule an appointment online.

管家婆精选四消期期准Families may also opt to go to a pharmacy because parents and kids can get vaccinated together. As part of an August , state-licensed pharmacists are now permitted to administer the flu vaccine to kids as young as 3 years old.

Workplace Clinics

管家婆精选四消期期准Some businesses host on-site clinics to administer flu shots, which can be a good choice for workers with busy schedules. This year, employers may be administering vaccinations outside to minimize COVID-19 risk. Of course business lockdowns may limit availability.

Other Options

Schools, supermarkets, and hospital clinics are all possibilities as well.

管家婆精选四消期期准If you’re having trouble pinpointing where to go in your area, the federal government offers a "" that will steer you to sites closest to you.

RELATED: Everyday Health Flu Map Tracker

Ask About High-Dose and Nasal-Spray Vaccines

Note that all locations that administer the flu vaccine should be able to give a formulation called the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, which is designed to give people who are 65 and older an additional immunity boost. There is no need to go to a special healthcare service to receive this type of immunization, but you may want to call first before heading out to make sure the place you’ve selected has an adequate supply.

A nasal spray version of the vaccine, the FluMist Quadrivalent, may be available at certain doctor’s offices, healthcare clinics, and pharmacies. the use of nasal-spray immunizations to healthy individuals 2 years through 49 years old who are not pregnant. People who are immunocompromised or have certain chronic medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.

RELATED: Get a Flu Shot Now, or Wait?

Check What COVID-19 Protections Are In Place

During the COVID-19 pandemic, places administering the flu vaccine are taking extra safety precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Taege says, screens patients and personnel for COVID-19, offers appropriately distanced seating in common areas, disinfects rooms frequently, and provides medical staff with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

管家婆精选四消期期准Many pharmacies have established protocols to limit the risk of virus spread as well. , a pharmacy manager at a CVS Pharmacy in Atlanta, told Everyday Health that all CVS locations have reduced the number of touch points, provide patients with a COVID-19 screening questionnaire, and take patient temperatures prior to any immunization. Staff administering the immunization wear PPE, including face masks and plastic face shields. Designated spaces created for inoculations allow for social distancing and are sanitized between patients.

RELATED: What You Need to Know About Getting Vaccinated at a Pharmacy

Can You Get a Free Flu Shot?

Your health insurance plan may be a determining factor in where you get your flu shot. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers are required to cover flu and other vaccines without charging a copayment or coinsurance, . “But be sure to check with your insurance company to find out if you must go to a specific facility to receive the vaccine. Some insurance plans only cover vaccines given by your doctor or at a limited set of locations,” writes the HHS.

“Many health insurance companies provide free-of-cost coverage of flu vaccines, since when they protect, they save very high costs of hospitalization,” says Dr. Bloom. “That’s a good deal for everyone.”

管家婆精选四消期期准, however, that some employer-sponsored health plans that were in operation before the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 may not cover immunizations — so check with your health insurance provider.

If you must pay out of pocket, shots can range in cost from to .

With Demand High, Make Sure Supplies Are On Hand

The public appears to be taking the urgency of getting vaccinated to heart, according to media reports around the country, and while supplies overall seem to be keeping up with demand, the public is advised to double check with their site of choice to make sure product is in stock.

管家婆精选四消期期准In Maine, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital have administered twice the number of flu immunizations that were given by this time last year, according to the . But in Minnesota, the that both Allina Health System and HealthPartners were facing flu vaccine shortages as demand proved to be higher than expected.

, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is reporting strong demand for the flu vaccine this year, and supplies have kept up despite shipment delays in some locations.

管家婆精选四消期期准“I have not heard of a shortage of vaccines in Boston, and the pharmacies and Department of Health are advertising that they are available,” says Bloom. “The companies I know are making large amounts so I hope the country can avoid shortages.”

 no indications from manufacturers so far of significant delays in the distribution of influenza管家婆精选四消期期准 vaccine this season, but the public is advised to check that the vaccine is actually on the shelves at their inoculation location of choice.

管家婆精选四消期期准“We have a substantial inventory and are prepared to administer 18 million flu shots this flu season, which is more than double last year,” says Dr. Massee, describing the quantity of flu vaccine at CVS. “We have ample supply of vaccine on hand and are not currently experiencing or anticipating widespread shortages for the months when demand for the flu shot is at its peak.”