How to Get Your Flu, COVID-19, and RSV Vaccines This Year
October 19, 2023, 1:30 PM EDT
- If you have insurance, these vaccines should be free to you in most cases.
- Adults without health insurance or adults whose insurance doesn’t cover all COVID-19 vaccine costs can get an updated COVID-19 vaccine for free through the Bridge Access Program.
- Most children can get recommended vaccines for free through their family’s insurance or the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program.
- How COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed changed in September 2023 when these products moved to the commercial market, but there is still plenty of vaccine supply.
- Flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines may be given at the same visit.
Why should I get vaccinated this fall/winter virus season?
Vaccination against flu, COVID-19, and RSV is the best way to reduce your risk of having severe illness caused by these diseases. Learn more about these vaccines here: Immunization Overview for Fall and Winter 2023-2024.
Which vaccines may be recommended for you?
The first step is to find out which vaccines are recommended for you.
- For flu and COVID-19, it is pretty simple: CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine and this season’s annual flu vaccine.
- The RSV vaccine is recommended for certain groups:
- All infants should be protected against severe RSV illness by either an RSV vaccine given to pregnant people, or a preventive antibody shot given to infants after birth.
- Some children aged 8 months to 19 months at increased risk for severe RSV disease are also recommended to receive the RSV antibody shot.
- Adults 60 years and older also may receive one dose of RSV vaccine and should talk with their healthcare provider about whether RSV vaccination is right for them.
Where can you get your vaccines?
Vaccines are available in different places. Depending on your situation, you may get a vaccine at
- Your health care provider’s office
- Your local pharmacy
- Other locations, like public health clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), and Rural Health Clinics (RHC).
To find flu and COVID-19 vaccines, visit vaccines.gov.
If you are pregnant or the parent of an infant, talk to your healthcare provider about where you can find an RSV immunization.
For adults 60 years and older, if you have Medicare Part D, your healthcare provider may recommend you get an RSV vaccine at a pharmacy. In some states, a prescription may be needed to get the vaccine at a pharmacy. Discuss with your healthcare provider or pharmacist where the best location to get an RSV vaccine is in your area.
What if I can’t find a flu, COVID-19, or RSV vaccine in my area right now?
This is the first year that COVID-19 vaccines are not being provided directly by the federal government. COVID-19 vaccines are now being provided through the regular commercial market. According to manufacturers, there is plenty of COVID-19 vaccine supply, but it may take additional time for vaccines to reach all areas. Updated COVID-19 vaccines are on the way to providers and will continue being distributed in the coming weeks and months.
You can reach out directly to vaccine providers to find out more information about when these vaccines might be available at their location. If vaccine is not available in your area right now, it will likely be available soon, so check again in the coming days and weeks.
Can I get these vaccines for free?
If you have insurance, these vaccines should be free to you in most cases.
- You should check your insurance plan for coverage details and if your plan fully covers these vaccines.
- You may need to find a provider that is in your network for the cost of these vaccines to be covered, and there may be a copay or administration fees when you receive a vaccine.
- If you receive your health insurance through Medicare, the vaccines are covered via Medicare Part D at no cost to you.
If your insurance does not provide free vaccines through providers in your network, or you do not have insurance, you can get an updated COVID-19 vaccine for free through the Bridge Access Program.
- These free vaccines are offered through select healthcare providers, federally supported health centers, and retail pharmacy chains participating in the program. You can find a provider participating in the Bridge Access Program at vaccines.gov.
RSV vaccines: Private health plans are required to cover RSV vaccines for adults 60 years and older when your health plan renews in the next year. However, some insurance plans may not be covering them yet.
Children: All children can get access to all recommended vaccines, including flu, COVID-19, and RSV, for free through their family’s insurance or through the Vaccines for Children Program.
Can I get these vaccines at the same time?
Flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines may be given at the same visit. This means that if you’re only able to make one trip to get your fall and winter vaccines, you can get all of those vaccines recommended for you at once. If you prefer to receive each vaccine at a separate visit, there is no minimum waiting period between vaccines. You should get vaccinated as quickly as possible to make sure you are up to date and protected for this season.
Talk with a healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions about these vaccines. CDC also has more information on how to protect yourself this fall and winter.