The supercenter retailer said pharmacists in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Kentucky will offer vaccines and information about other conditions that commonly affect schoolchildren at all 235 Meijer stores on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
According to Karen Mankowski, vice president of pharmacy operations for Meijer, the focus of the events is to remind parents why getting flu vaccination for their kids before they return to school is the best time to minimize the spread of seasonal influenza.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that it can take about two weeks before flu shot protection from the seasonal virus takes hold. Flu outbreaks can start as early as October.
“Most people believe the best time to get a flu shot is when the weather gets colder,” Mankowski explained. “But getting a flu shot before or soon after school starts can make a big difference. Once classes start, that’s when viruses become, well, viral, and it becomes difficult to keep influenza from spreading.”
All of Meijer’s 235 pharmacies administer the flu vaccine on a walk-in basis during pharmacy hours and accept most major insurance plans, which typically cover the flu shot without a co-payment. Depending on age, health status and state regulations, Meijer’s flu vaccination options include the four-strain quadrivalent vaccine (ages 4 and older), high-dose vaccine (for seniors, usually covered by Medicare Part B) and three-strain trivalent injection (for $29.99, with limited quantities available as this vaccine is being phased out).
“There is no expiration date in receiving a flu shot, so the sooner you get your flu shot, the better chance you have of staying healthy this flu season,” added Mankowski.
Meijer said that getting a flu shot or other immunizations at its pharmacies may also count as prescription credits in the mPerks Pharmacy Rewards Program, which enables customers to earn savings on shopping and gas purchases.