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There’s no good count yet of how much vaccine the country’s used, but it’s clear that a lot is still available. Often, it’s at retail pharmacies that tend to charge $20 to $30, although they will file with a customer’s insurance.

Drugstore giant Walgreens aims to give 15 million flu shots this year and has given nearly 6 million so far, making it the single largest non-government provider of flu vaccine. Federal health officials announced last month that the company agreed to donate $10 million in vouchers for enough free shots for 350,000 uninsured people in regions deemed especially in need.

Grocery giant Kroger won’t say how many shots it’s given, but has dropped the price from its original $24.99 to $19.99, or in some locations $14.99. It, too, is distributing free-shot vouchers in areas the stores serve, through the Salvation Army and another charity, Feeding America.

The CDC recommends vaccine for most everyone except infants younger than 6 months and people with severe allergies to the eggs used to brew it.


EDITOR’S NOTE _ Lauran Neergaard covers health and medical issues for The Associated Press in Washington.