Retail News Breaks
Fred Meyer serves up needle-free flu vaccine
September 8th, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. – Multidepartment store retailer Fred Meyer Stores is offering customers needle-free option to be immunized against the flu this fall.
The Kroger Co. chain said Wednesday that most Fred Meyer pharmacies in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska now provide conventional flu shots plus a needleless option from Portland, Ore.-based Bioject Medical Technologies Inc.
The Biojector encompasses a durable injection device, a disposable needleless syringe and a CO2 cartridge.
The Biojector is a carbon dioxide (CO2) gas-powered, needle-free injector that can deliver medications or vaccines up to 1 ml in volume, either subcutaneously or intramuscularly, from a sterile, single-use syringe, according to Bioject Medical. The system encompasses a durable injection device, a disposable needleless syringe and a CO2 cartridge.
Biojector works by forcing medication at a high speed through a tiny orifice held against the skin. That creates a fine stream of high-pressure fluid that penetrates the skin and deposits the medication in the tissue beneath. The plastic syringe is the only part that comes in contact with the patient's skin. After each injection, the used syringe is discarded and a new one is inserted for the next injection.
"While needle-free vaccines have been used in the past in some public agencies and the military, this is the first time this option has been available to the public through their pharmacies," Marc Cecchini, vice president and director of pharmacy at Fred Meyer Stores, said in a statement. "This provides a great alternative for customers who are wary of needles but want to protect themselves against the flu."
Fred Meyer said it expects to immunize tens of thousands of customers in its stores during the 2011-12 flu season, which can begin between October and December in the Northwest and run as late as May.
"The Biojector offers patients a safe, easy and convenient alternative to the needle and syringe for their annual flu shot," stated Dr. Richard Stout, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Bioject. "We are pleased that Fred Meyer has chosen to incorporate this in its 2011-12 flu immunization program."
Fred Meyer operates 132 multidepartment stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.
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