Flu Immunization Information

During the flu season GET YOUR FLU SHOT AT RITE AID Free with most insurance. No appointment necessary. Vaccines available while supplies last. Age restrictions apply in some states. See your Pharmacy for details.

Rite Aid is your source for everything you need to avoid, treat and manage the flu. The flu can take its toll on you and your family. Thankfully, Rite Aid is ready to help you protect yourself and your family during flu season with flu shots administered by our specially trained, Certified Immunizing Pharmacists. No appointment is necessary, so stop in anytime to get yourself and your family vaccinated. Flu shots are covered by most insurances and are competitively priced for those with no insurance. Fluzone® High-Dose vaccine is also available for those over 65. High dose vaccine is associated with a stronger immune response to vaccination and 100% covered by Medicare Part B.

While you're in getting your flu shot, ask for an immunization evaluation to determine what other vaccines you may need. It's absolutely FREE.

PLUS, receive 25 wellness+ points with every flu shot. It's wellness for you, as well as your wallet.

7 Reasons Why You Should Get A Flu Shot

  1. 39% of people don't wash their hands after they sneeze1
  2. 1 in 4 co-workers come in to work sick2
  3. 39% of school age children do not get a flu shot3
  4. 66% of people will go on a flight even if they have the flu4
  5. 63% of your friends don't get a shot3
  6. You can catch it from someone as far as 6 feet away5
  7. Flu shots are free with most insurances 6
Flu Definition

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing or close contact. Symptoms include: fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue, cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches. While other illnesses have the same symptoms and are often mistaken for influenza, only the influenza virus can cause influenza. The influenza virus can cause mild to severe illness. Each year, on average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for respiratory and heart-related illnesses associated with the influenza virus, and thousands die from flu-related complications in the United States. Most of these deaths occur in the elderly, young children, and people with certain health conditions. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

Flu Shots

Each year in the U.S., more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. A flu vaccine is needed annually because the body's immune response decreases over time, and types of flu viruses are always changing. This is why the flu vaccine is re-evaluated and often reformulated each year.

Who should get a flu shot?

Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot as soon as the vaccines are available. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States in order to expand protection against the flu to more people. It's especially important that anyone who is at high risk of developing flu complications be vaccinated. Those at high risk include:

  • Children 6 months to less than 5 years old
  • Women who are pregnant or will be pregnant during flu season (and up to 2 months post-partum)
  • People with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart or lung disease or another serious health condition
  • People 65 years and older
  • People residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities

Healthcare workers and caregivers who live with or care for high-risk individuals should also be vaccinated in order to keep them from spreading the flu to someone who is at high risk. Children younger than six months are also at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated; instead, anyone who cares for or lives with infants should be vaccinated.

People at higher risk from the flu

The flu can cause serious health problems. Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and significant problems related to flu can happen at any age. But some people are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. They include people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), people residing in nursing homes and any long-term care facilities, pregnant women, new mothers up to 2 weeks post partum, and children under the age of 5.

How the flu spreads

Person to Person

People who have the flu can spread it to others up to about six feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

To avoid this, people should stay away from sick people and stay home if sick. It also is important to wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first. Eating utensils can be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap and do not need to be cleaned separately. Further, frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at home, work and school, especially if someone is ill.

The Flu is Contagious

Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than seven days. Symptoms start one to four days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are unwell, as well as while you are ill. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.

Flu Symptoms

Recognize symptoms of the flu, like:

  • Fever* (usually high) or feeling feverish/chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • Cough
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Sometimes vomiting (more common in children than adults)
  • Sometimes diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

*It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

When to seek emergency care

When to seek emergency care for children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash.

When to seek emergency care for adults:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu severity

How flu affects one's wellness varies. Flu is unpredictable and how severe it is can fluctuate widely from one season to the next depending on many things, including:

  • What type of flu viruses are spreading.
  • How much flu vaccine is available.
  • When flu vaccine is available.
  • How many people get vaccinated.
  • How well the flu vaccine is matched to flu viruses that are causing illness.

Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of approximately 3,000 to a high of approximately 49,000 people. During recent flu seasons, about 80 to 90 percent of deaths occured in those over 65.

Protect yourself from the flu

Take steps to ensure your wellness during flu season:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities (your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine).
  • While sick, limit contact with others to avoid infecting them.
  • Prepare your home for flu season by changing out your air filter.

Though scientific evidence is not as extensive as that on hand washing and alcohol-based sanitizers, other hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol may be useful for killing flu germs on hands in settings where alcohol-based products are prohibited.


It is difficult to distinguish the flu from other infections on the basis of symptoms alone. A doctor's exam may be needed to tell whether you have developed the flu or a complication of the flu. There are tests that can determine if you have the flu as long as you are tested within the first two or three days of illness.

If you develop flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your wellness, especially if you are at high risk for complications of the flu, you should consult your doctor or healthcare provider. Flu symptoms can include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Those at high risk for complications include people over 65, those with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and young children.


Take antiviral drugs to treat influenza if recommended by your doctor.

  • Most people ill with the flu will recover without complications. However, for those at increased risk of complications, antiviral drugs may be recommended.
  • Antiviral drugs are medicines (pills, liquid, or inhaled powder) prescribed by your doctor or health care provider that fight the flu by keeping viruses from reproducing in your body.
  • The flu may be caused by different viruses. Your doctor can do a test to determine if an antiviral drug will work for you.
  • For treatment, antiviral drugs, work best if started within the first two days of symptoms.
  • Antiviral drugs are not sold over the counter and are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.
Flu safety shopping list


  • Hand sanitizer
  • Antibacterial hand soap
  • Antibacterial wipes

Over-the-counter treatment

  • Fever reducer
  • Decongestant
  • Thermometer
  • Cough Drops
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Anti-nausea medication


Save time at the Pharmacy!

Complete the immunization evaluation & specific state Screening Questionnaire & Consent forms before your visit.

Get the Facts about the Cold & Flu