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CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has announced 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.
"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," stated Robert Thompson, Rite Aid EVP 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."
To help employers shield their workforce from the flu, Rite Aid also 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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, flu costs businesses approximately $10.4 billion in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 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. 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 6 months, certain groups of people are at greater risk for complications from the flu. These groups include: pregnant women, adults over 65, children under age 5, those with asthma and other chronic lung diseases, those with kidney and liver disorders, heart disease patients and those with compromised immune systems.
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