With flu season fast approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, opportunities to get a free flu shot are popping up all across Lexington.

University Health Services opened up their flu shot clinic for students this past week. Flu shots are free for students with a valid UK student I.D., a change from last year’s clinic where students had to pay $10 without a valid UK student insurance plan. The flu shot clinic will be located in the second floor lobby of the UHS building. This is another change from last year ,when flu shots were offered at different spots across campus. Appointments are required, and no walk-ins are allowed. Students can make an appointment through their myUK portal or by calling (859) 323- APPT. Appointments are available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 3p.m.

Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is also offering free flu shots to anyone who may need one in the area. The free flu shots will be available starting Oct.5 at LFCHD’s Public Health Clinic located at 650 Newtown Pike. Appointments are also required for this clinic, and walk-ins will not be accepted. Those who want to make an appointment can call (859) 288-2444 to schedule. LFCHD also offered a successful drive-thru, free flu shot clinic on Saturday, Oct.3, administering 400 free shots to the community. It is unclear if there will be another event like this later this season.

If you are not eligible for either of the two previous options, pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Kroger all offer flu shots and other vaccination appointments, most of which are free with a valid insurance card.

However, if you don’t have insurance, flu shots can run anywhere from $20 to $70 out of pocket at these locations. GoodRx, an insurance alternative to help lower the price of prescription drug costs, has partnered with a lot of these retail pharmacies to provide discounted prices for those without insurance. If you are interested in exploring this payment option, visit https://www.goodrx.com/blog/heres-how-to-get-discounted-or-even-free-flu-shots-this-year/. To find what stores near you may be offering the flu shot, visit https://vaccinefinder.org/.

According to the LFCHD website, Lexington had 3 flu related deaths and 742 lab-confirmed cases last flu season.

“The flu shot is especially important this season as we remain in the COVID-19 pandemic,” LFCHD spokesperson Kevin Hall said. “ It can help reduce the overall impact on respiratory illnesses on the population, which will lessen the burden on our healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.”