How to Get a Flu Shot at Wegmans

It's not too late to get the flu vaccine this season. Wegmans is offering shots at 103 locations in seven states. Here's how you can your Wegmans flu shot.

Getting the Wegmans flu shot

There are two potentially lethal viruses circulating this year: Covid-19 and influenza. While you’re waiting for the Covid-19 vaccine to reach you, get your flu shot. The best time to get vaccinated is early fall. But now is still a good time given that there are several more months that the virus will be circulating.

“This year, it is especially important to get the flu shot,” says Alexa Mieses Malchuk, MD, a family physician in Durham, North Carolina. “In family medicine, our goal is to prevent illness. So we want to eliminate all of the vulnerabilities we can control.”

Influenza is one such vulnerability and would likely make Covid-19 worse. Not only will the flu vaccine protect you from severe complications from the flu, Dr. Mieses Malchuk adds, “it is a selfless act that helps you protect others.” (Here’s the difference between Covid-19 symptoms vs flu symptoms.)

Flu shots are available at doctors’ offices, clinics, and retailers nationwide. One of these is Wegmans, with vaccines available at all Wegmans locations with a pharmacy. (Most of its 103 locations in seven states do have a pharmacy.)

Who should get the flu vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of six months get a flu vaccine, especially people at a higher risk of developing complications and even dying. This includes people aged 65 and over and people with chronic medical conditions like asthma and heart disease. Pregnant women can and should get a flu shot. (Beware of these deadly flu signs.)

Some people should not get a flu vaccine before talking to their doctor or pharmacist. For example, if you currently have any flu symptoms or if you’ve had Guillain-Barré syndrome (a neurological disorder in which nerves are attacked by the immune system). People with egg allergies should also be careful as some flu vaccines are grown in eggs. This year, the majority of shots—80 percent—are egg-free.

Is the vaccine effective?

Every year, scientists try to predict which flu strains will be circulating in the U.S. based on what they’re seeing in the Southern Hemisphere. Their conclusions guide vaccine developers. If the flu vaccine and the strains are well-matched, you can expect the shot to be about 40 to 60 percent effective. “Sometimes, a different strain of the flu takes hold in an area, but you are still afforded partial immunity against all types of flu viruses,” says Dr. Mieses Malchuk. “This helps decreases the likelihood of severe complications from a flu infection.”

Remember that the shot takes about two weeks to fully kick in. Wearing a mask will protect you not only from Covid-19 but also from influenza. (Here’s how to make a homemade face mask for coronavirus.)

Is the vaccine safe?

Even though the flu vaccine changes every year, it is still safe. “The flu vaccine has been around for some time and goes through surveillance and reformulation every year to make it as safe and effective as possible,” says LaTasha Perkins, MD, a family physician in Washington, DC. The shot doesn’t contain any live virus so it won’t give you the flu, nor does it cause autism. (Here are the flu myths you should know about.)

Most of the side effects are minor: a sore arm where the needle went in and maybe a headache, fever, nausea, and muscle aches. These go away on their own. (Here’s how to deal with flu shot pain.)

What types of vaccines are available?

“There are different types of vaccines out there and some may be more effective for you based on your personal history,” says Dr. Mieses Malchuk. For instance, high-dose vaccines are more suitable for older people whose immune systems have declined with age. Then there are the egg-free versions, as well as a nasal spray, although the spray is less widely available.

“You should talk with your family physician about which sort of flu shot is right for you,” says Dr. Mieses Malchuk.

wegmans flu shot illustrationthehealthy.com, via wegmans.com, Getty Images

How do I get a flu vaccine at Wegmans?

You don’t need an appointment to get a flu shot at Wegmans, which is offering them for children, adults, and seniors. Some stores have drive-through shots and community clinics. Because there may be minimum age requirements for immunization, Wegmans suggests contacting the pharmacy first if you have a kid 18 or younger. Also, double-check beforehand if your store has current supplies.

Typically, health insurance will cover the cost of the flu shot; without insurance, the cost is $39.99 for the standard quadrivalent shot. Wegmans also carries the high dose for seniors, and egg- and preservative-free options. Contact your local Wegmans for pricing on available flu vaccines.

What Covid-19 precautions is Wegmans taking?

At all locations, Wegmans pharmacy staff is wearing extra personal protective equipment so expect to see masks, face shields, or safety goggles and gloves. The retailer also requires customers to wear a mask to help limit the spread of Covid-19. Some locations have set aside special times for seniors to come in.

All areas of its stores are being sanitized more frequently and that includes touchpoints. Use hand sanitizer after you leave; better yet, wash your hands when you get home—and don’t touch your face until you have.

Next, learn how to tell the difference between a cold and the flu.

Sources
  • Alexa Mieses Malchuk, MD, practicing family physician, Durham, North Carolina
  • Wegmans: "Find a Grocery Store Near You"
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Who Should and Who Should NOT get a Flu Vaccine"
  • CDC: "Flu Symptoms & Complications"
  • CDC: "Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Supply for the U.S. 2020-2021 Influenza Season"
  • CDC: "Vaccine Effectiveness: How Well Do the Flu Vaccines Work?"
  • LaTasha Perkins, MD, practicing family physician, Washington, D.C.
  • CDC: "Flu Vaccine Safety Information" Wegmans: "Flu shots now available!"

Amanda Gardner
Amanda Gardner is a freelance health reporter whose stories have appeared in cnn.com, health.com, cnn.com, WebMD, HealthDay, Self Magazine, the New York Daily News, Teachers & Writers Magazine, the Foreign Service Journal, AmeriQuests (Vanderbilt University) and others. In 2009, she served as writer-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She is also a community artist and recipient or partner in five National Endowment for the Arts grants.