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How you can get paid to get a flu shot

Many companies offer gift cards for those who get free shot

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – It could be another nasty flu season according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

Last season 700,000 people were hospitalized with the virus with epidemic levels of flu or pneumonia for 16 weeks straight. At least 180 children died from the virus and 80 percent of those who died weren't vaccinated. 

Debunking flu myths

Myth: I can catch the flu from the vaccine.
False. The vaccine is made from an inactivate virus that can't transmit infection, so people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway. It takes a week or two to get fully protected from the vaccine.

Myth: I can catch the flu from going out in the cold weather without a coat, with wet hair or sitting in cold near a drafty window.
Nope. The only way to catch the flu is being exposed to the influenza virus. Flu season does occur during colder weather months, so people assume you get sick for those reasons, but according to doctors, they are not related.

Myth: The “stomach flu” is a type of influenza.
No. The flu is a respiratory disease and not a stomach or intestinal disease. You might vomit or have diarrhea, feel nauseous or sick to the stomach, but those symptoms alone are not the flu and can be caused by many different viruses, bacteria or even parasites.

There are many advertisements for free flu shots but most of the time the offer is available for people with insurance or a qualifying Medicare plan.    

In that case, you might want to shop around for incentives to get the shot.

Publix is giving away a $10 gift card if you get your free flu shot there. Target is giving away a $5 gift card if you get your flu shot at a Target CVS Pharmacy.

RELATED: What's best for kids: flu shot or flu spray? | WATCH: How to stay flu free this season

Florida Blue Retail Centers at the St. Johns Town Center and River City Marketplace are also offering free shots and a $5 gift card to Walgreens. It's offering the vaccine on Thursdays from 10 a.m.-noon.

Costco has the cheapest flu shot if your insurance doesn't cover the shot. It costs $19.99, and you don't have to be a member to get it.

Sam's Club offers the flu shot for $32 for members and non-members. Walgreens, CVS and Walmart are all right around $41 and under.

Fluzone high dose is an injected flu vaccine for people age 65 and older. The high dose vaccine contains four times as much of the part of the vaccine that stimulates the immune system.

That one can costs as much as $30 more if you don't have insurance.

The CDC recommends getting the flu shot by the end of October before the flu starts spreading.

If your child is younger than 9 years old and is getting the flu shot for the first time, the CDC says he or she will need two shots given four weeks apart.

For a pain free shot, a Walgreens pharmacist recommends asking the person giving the shot to warm up the serum in their hands by rubbing the vial before they stick you. He said that takes the burning sensation you might otherwise feel out of the shot.


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