Health

Where to Get a Free Flu Shot in Philadelphia

It's not too late.

Photograph by iStock/wissanu01

This year’s flu season, marking the 100-year-anniversary of the worst flu outbreak in Philadelphia history, has been marked as one of the worst we’ve seen in a while.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the flu is responsible for 53 pediatric deaths across the US since the month of October. So not only is the flu on a rampage — it also can be deadly.

All that to say: If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet this year, GET. ON. IT. Even though the CDC recommends getting your flu shot by the end of October, it’s not worthless to get it this late in the season. In fact, the CDC says a flu shot can still be beneficial late in January and beyond. And since the average flu season can usually run between 16 to 20 weeks — and we’re only through week nine of elevated flu activity —  things could get worse before they start to get better.

If you haven’t gotten a flu vaccine because you think they’re hard to schedule or expensive, we’ve got news for you! You can get a FREE flu vaccine all over the city at Philly’s City Health Centers. Even better: they all have walk-in hours, which means you don’t have to schedule an appointment or book a time — just show up. There are eight of the City Health Centers, which you can find mapped here, plus four federally qualified centers.

If one of those isn’t close to you, you can also hop into your local pharmacyRite Aid and CVS Pharmacies both offer walk-in appointments and accept most insurance providers — just make sure to call ahead to make sure they have them in stock. Walgreens also provides walk-ins — or you have the option to schedule an appointment in advance for flu vaccinations, which can cost anywhere from $31.99 to $59.99.

Correction: A former version of this post incorrectly stated that Walgreens does not provide walk-in appointments. 

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