Determining what’s available
Vaccine distribution can vary wildly depending on the vaccines being offered and what’s allowed based on state regulations. Pharmacies are a popular choice for people short on time. However, keep in mind that available vaccines can vary between pharmacies, even in the same state.
Which vaccines do pharmacies offer?
Of course, availability may vary depending on the state or municipality. Specifically, states can dictate when a prescription is needed to get a vaccine and which vaccines can be given at pharmacies. One of the most common vaccines people can get at a pharmacy is the seasonal flu shot. Usually offered between August and March, pharmacies provide the shot at a reduced cost or completely free depending on an individual’s health insurance. But pharmacists can also provide the following vaccines:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap)
Why pharmacy vaccinations are popular
Pharmacies can be more convenient than going to the doctor. As compared to a doctor’s office, many pharmacies operate on a walk-in basis. As a result, people can go to a pharmacy on a lunch break, after work, or on the weekends. Likewise, since many pharmacies, including chains, are spread throughout a community, finding a location that’s nearby is easier than traveling across town to a doctor’s office. And for people who don’t have a primary care provider, a pharmacy may be more accessible and more affordable than visiting a doctor.
Planning a pharmacy vaccine visit
For people who need a single vaccine, pharmacies usually allow for drop-in visits. But individuals planning for multiple vaccinations or to have the entire family vaccinated may need to schedule an important. Aside from the widely available flu vaccine, people should always call the pharmacy first to confirm that the required vaccine is available and doesn’t require a prescription. Also, ask if the vaccine is free or has lower-cost solutions for un- or underinsured individuals, and which insurance is accepted for people who are insured. For adults vaccinating children, confirm age guidelines for that specific location. For more information, speak with your local pharmacist.