Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) announced today that seasonal flu shots are now available at all Rite Aid pharmacies nationwide. Customers can visit any of the more than 4,600 Rite Aid pharmacies to receive a flu shot, which are covered by most insurance plans including Medicare Part B, from a Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacist, subject to state regulations. Flu shots are available during pharmacy hours and no appointment is necessary. To locate the nearest Rite Aid pharmacy, visit www.riteaid.com or call 1-800-RITE-AID. “While it’s too early to tell what the 2013-2014 flu season will bring, it’s not too early to visit your Rite Aid pharmacist for a flu shot,” said Robert I. Thompson, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. “Getting a flu shot as soon as it is available remains the single best way to protect yourself and others against the flu, because the more people in a community who are immunized, the less chance of a widespread outbreak in that community.” All Rite Aid pharmacies have supplies of and are able to administer, subject to state regulations, the regular injectable flu shot; a high-dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older, Fluzone HD; and an intradermal flu shot, which uses a smaller needle that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle, approved for people 18-64 years of age. Upon request, Rite Aid pharmacies can also order and administer an intranasal flu shot. Rite Aid a Resource for Employers Looking to Shield Their Workforce from the Flu According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, flu costs businesses approximately $10.4 billion in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults. To help employers shield their workforce from the flu, Rite Aid has a team dedicated to planning and implementing onsite workplace flu clinics, staffed by certified immunizing Rite Aid pharmacists. Alternatively, the team can also develop a voucher program, in which employees would receive a flu shot voucher to use at any Rite Aid pharmacy. For more information, employers can visit www.shieldmyworkforce.com or call 1-800-622-2106. The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu shot as soon as it is available, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. A flu shot is recommended every year because flu viruses are constantly changing. The flu vaccine is formulated each year in an attempt to match the circulating strains of flu virus each year. The 2013-2014 vaccine will protect against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that emerged in 2009.
While the CDC recommends flu shots for everyone over six months, certain groups of people are at greater risk for complications from the flu. These groups include: pregnant women, adults over 65, children under 5, those with asthma and other chronic lung diseases, those with kidney and liver disorders, heart disease patients and those with compromised immune systems.Thompson adds, “Even if you aren’t in one of these high risk groups, if someone in your family is, you can help to protect your at-risk loved one by shielding yourself.” Flu season also provides an opportunity for people to review other immunization needs. Using an immunization checklist that was developed based on recommendations from the CDC, Rite Aid pharmacists are able to advise people on other immunizations they may need. Rite Aid pharmacists are able to administer vaccinations for 12 other diseases, such as pertussis (whooping cough), shingles and pneumonia, subject to state regulations. To learn more about Rite Aid’s year-round immunization program, visit www.riteaid.com. Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with more than 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2013 annual revenues of $25.4 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.