Meijer pharmacists are on a mission to help spread facts – as opposed to viruses – about the importance of getting flu shots well in advance of peak influenza season.
While the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer anticipates administering 30 percent more flu shots this season than last, Nat Love, Meijer's VP of drug store, said the company's pharmacists are being empowered to debunk one of the largest myths – and many related others – about flu shots at a time when viruses could be most prevalent.
“The best time to get a flu shot is not October, but actually before or soon after school starts,” explained Love. “Once classes begin, kids can literally bring viruses into your home every day, and it becomes difficult to keep influenza from spreading throughout the whole family." Moreover, he added, "There is no expiration date to receiving a flu shot, so the sooner you get your flu shot, the better chance you have of staying healthy.”
Seasonal influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory disease that can cause mild to severe illness, and at times, lead to hospitalization or death. Every flu season is different, and influenza effects vary from person to person, which is why Love says it's important to understand the facts.
While H1N1 is still the most dominant strain anticipated for this coming season, Love said walk-in services and new options for flu shots at retailers like Meijer are making it easier – and more appealing – for families to get vaccinated.
Meijer operates 213 pharmacies in its supercenters throughout the Midwest, all of which administer the vaccine without an appointment during pharmacy hours and accept most major insurance plans. Depending on age, health status and state regulations, Meijer pharmacies offer a variety of vaccine options that include:
- Fluvirin/Fluzone: Vaccines injected in the arm for $27.99
- FluMist: Nasal spray by request for $32.99
- Fluzone HD: For patients 65 and older that are typically covered by Medicare Part B for $56
Meijer pharmacists are also offering Fluzone Quadrivalent injections – the new vaccine that covers the four major strains of influenza – for patients, ages 5-49, for $32.99.
In addition to preventative measures, flu shot and other immunizations offered at Meijer may count as prescription credits in the new mPerks Pharmacy Rewards Program which, as Progressive Grocer previously reported, allows customers to earn savings on shopping and gas purchases. See program details for restrictions.
Meijer operates 213 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.