You can now get a free flu vaccine for as little as $39.99 online, as the United States government ramps up the effort to get more people vaccinated, and as the world braces for a second pandemic.
A new federal website will let people in the United State get a generic version of the flu shot starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. local time, and it will remain open for 30 days.
The online pharmacy that provides the vaccine will accept cash and credit cards, and consumers will be able to order online from the company’s website.
The price will vary by state, and the generic version will cost $39, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The US government estimates that there will be more than 30 million people who need to be vaccinated by next year.
It’s not yet clear how many people will get the shot, although CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Wednesday the goal is to reach 5 million doses.
The federal government has been ramping up its vaccination efforts since the pandemic swept through the United Kingdom in March and the United Arab Emirates last week.
The U.S. has had more than 1.2 million vaccinations, but Frieden has said that there are “no easy answers” to how many Americans will need a shot.
There are about 14.8 million people in America with flu-like illness, and about 6.4 million people have died from it.
Frieden also has stressed that people should be vaccinated for at least six months before they get sick, and for up to six months after.
He said this makes it possible to keep people healthy and prevent a resurgence of the virus.
The government is asking for comments on the website until April 10, and is also working with manufacturers to make the vaccines more affordable.
Flu shots are widely used, and they can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 per dose, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
They can also cost as little at $5.99.