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.
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.
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.