- If you have health insurance, flu shots and COVID-19 boosters are generally covered at pharmacies, retail clinics, most primary care offices, and even urgent care centers.
- Many workplaces, universities, and communities offer “flu shot days” where you can access free flu shots.
- The FDA approved an updated COVID-19 booster for fall 2023.
- This year, the CDC recommends an RSV vaccine for anyone who is over the age of 60, healthy children between the ages of 8 months and 19 months, women who are in the third trimester of pregnancy, and children between 19 and 24 months who have heart or lung conditions.
This story has been updated for the 2023–2024 flu season.
Last year millions of people fell ill from one of three major respiratory viruses. Many called it a “triple-demic”, as cases of the flu, COVID-19, and RSV skyrocketed across all 50 states. This year, healthcare workers and scientists are hoping that the availability of a new RSV vaccine will help prevent another “triple-demic” from happening. With hospitalizations from COVID-19 on the rise in many areas already, now is the time to plan how you’ll get your fall immunizations.
"Free" flu shots and COVID-19 boosters are often available across the United States, especially leading up to the fall respiratory season when viruses like these spread more easily. There may even be some places and situations where you qualify for a free RSV vaccine.
It's important to now that "free" in this context most commonly means "covered by insurance" if you are insured. While there is no out-of-pocket cost to you the consumer, your insurance carrier is covering the cost for you. If you are uninsured, the venues listed below may charge you an out-of-pocket cost.
Where can I get free flu shots and free COVID vaccines?
These free flu shots and COVID-19 boosters are available in many places. Some of these places may also have the new RSV vaccine in stock and available for free if you qualify. If you’re not sure where to start looking, here are some recommendations:
Urgent care centers
Same-day and next-day immunizations (including the flu shot and COVID-19 booster) are usually extremely easy to get at an urgent care center or walk-in clinic if you are unable to get an immediate time slot with your primary care doctor. Many urgent care centers can have you in and out of the clinic in under 30 minutes. You can use Solv to locate nearby top-rated providers and conveniently book an appointment directly from our website.
Primary care doctors
Most primary care doctors (including pediatricians and OB/GYNs) offer flu shots, COVID-19 boosters, and the new RSV vaccine free of charge. Most also do not require a copay. All you need to do is make an immunization appointment with them. You will want to check with them when you make your appointment, to make sure they have this year’s immunizations in stock.
Many employers offer flu shots and COVID-19 boosters during or before the fall respiratory season. They may offer an annual “flu shot clinic” that lasts a few days or they may give out vouchers for you to take to nearby immunization providers.
Contact the human resources department at your place of workplace to find out whether your company offers this free service.
Your school or university
Public school districts, colleges, and universities often offer flu shots and COVID-19 boosters to staff and students. For children under 18, parents are often given information from the school nurse about when and where free flu shots are offered through the school district. For colleges and universities, you should contact the student health center to find more information about free immunizations.
Most pharmacies offer many immunizations, including the flu shot, COVID-19 booster, RSV vaccine, pneumonia vaccine, tetanus shot, and more. At most locations, immunizations are free for those who have health insurance. For those who do not have health insurance, there may be free options available through various promotions, special events, or coupons. Contact pharmacies in your area to learn what free or discounted immunizations are available.
Big box retailers with pharmacies often offer free flu shots and COVID-19 boosters or host free immunization clinics. In addition, membership-only retail stores may also provide free immunizations, including to those who do not have store memberships.
You can contact big box retailers in your area to learn more about what immunizations they offer and if their immunizations are free. You may also earn special cash-back rewards and other incentives for getting a flu shot at these locations.
Many grocery store chains offer free flu shots and COVID-19 boosters—usually within their pharmacies. Contact supermarkets and grocery stores in your area to learn more about free immunizations and about the steps you may need to take to get a free flu shot if you don’t have health insurance.
Public health department
Free or discounted immunizations may also be available from your local public health department, especially if you live in an area where flu, COVID-19, or RSV transmission rates tend to be high. Contact your public health department for more information about where you can go to get free immunizations. Vaccines from public health departments may be no cost to both insured and uninsured area residents.
Flu shots and COVID-19 booster clinics are typically sponsored by local health departments and done at public places, like community centers, hospitals, libraries, and convenient parking lots.
How much does a flu shot cost without insurance?
According to GoodRx, flu shots typically range in price between $0 and $50 without health insurance, but it’s possible flu shots cost more in some regions. The price of a flu shot is often based on factors including provider rates, the provider’s geographical location, and the type of vaccine given.
How much does a COVID-19 booster cost?
At the time of this publication, the COVID-19 boosters are still covered by the United States Government. However, this may change in the future. Solv will be monitoring this information for changes and will update this information as needed.
How much does the new RSV immunization cost?
Your out-of-pocket costs when it comes to the new RSV immunization will depend a lot on your health insurance coverage. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the new RSV immunization will be free to many people because it falls under preventive care covered under the ACA. This means that anyone with a private insurance plan, or government-sponsored insurance plan like ACA, Medicaid, or Medicare will be able to get the immunization for free. However, those who are uninsured may see a price tag ranging from $180 to $295, according to KFF.
What’s the best way to find where to get a flu shot, RSV vaccine, or COVID-19 booster?
Solv is an easy and convenient way to find highly rated providers in your area who offer immunizations for respiratory viruses. Visit our homepage and type “flu shot” or “COVID-19 booster” into the search field, followed by your location.
Solv will display a list of flu shot providers in your area, along with the option to call and book an appointment. Solv can give you peace of mind knowing you are getting high-quality health care for yourself and your family.
Frequently asked questions
What is a "triple-demic" and how can it be prevented?A "triple-demic" refers to the simultaneous outbreak of three major respiratory viruses: the flu, COVID-19, and RSV. It can be prevented by getting vaccinated for these diseases. A new RSV vaccine is now available, and flu shots and COVID-19 boosters are often offered for free in the United States.
What does "free" mean in the context of flu shots and COVID-19 boosters?In this context, "free" most commonly means "covered by insurance". While there is no out-of-pocket cost to the consumer, the insurance carrier covers the cost. If you are uninsured, the venues listed may charge you an out-of-pocket cost.
Where can I get free flu shots and free COVID vaccines?Free flu shots and COVID-19 boosters are available in many places including urgent care centers, primary care doctors, workplaces, schools or universities, pharmacies, retail stores, grocery stores, and public health departments.
How much does a flu shot cost without insurance?Without health insurance, flu shots typically range in price between $0 and $50, but the price can vary based on factors like provider rates, geographical location, and the type of vaccine given.
How much does a COVID-19 booster cost?As of the time of this publication, the COVID-19 boosters are still covered by the United States Government. However, this may change in the future.
How much does the new RSV immunization cost?The out-of-pocket costs for the new RSV immunization depend on your health insurance coverage. It will be free to many people because it falls under preventive care covered under the ACA. However, those who are uninsured may see a price tag ranging from $180 to $295.
What’s the best way to find where to get a flu shot, RSV vaccine, or COVID-19 booster?You can use Solv, an online platform, to find highly rated providers in your area who offer immunizations for respiratory viruses. You just need to type “flu shot” or “COVID-19 booster” into the search field, followed by your location.
Can I get a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?Yes, you can get a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. It's recommended to get both vaccines to protect yourself from both diseases during the respiratory season.
Solv has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
- Timing and Cost of New Vaccines Vary by Virus and Health Insurance Status. (September 8, 2023)
- Will There Be A Tripledemic In Fall 2023? Doctors And Infectious Disease Experts Weigh In—And Help You Prepare. (September 8, 2023)
- What to Know About the New R.S.V. Immunizations. (September 8, 2023)
- Frequently Asked Questions About RSV Vaccine for Adults. (September 8, 2023)
- Getting a Flu Vaccine and a COVID-19 Vaccine at the Same Time. (September 8, 2023)