In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that flu activity is increasing across the country, Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is reminding people that seasonal flu shots are still available at all Rite Aid pharmacies nationwide. Rite Aid is encouraging people who have not received a flu shot this season to do so as soon as possible, as it is the single best way to prevent the flu. Currently, the CDC is reporting widespread activity in twenty-five states and additional increases are expected in the coming weeks. Flu shots are covered by most insurance plans including Medicare Part B and are available from all Rite Aid pharmacists, who are certified immunizers. 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. All of the nearly 4,600 Rite Aid pharmacies nationwide 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. To date, Rite Aid pharmacists have administered more than 2.4 million flu shots, and will continue to do so while supplies are available. 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.Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with nearly 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.