Pharmacists at supercenter chain Meijer Inc. are forecasting a much busier season for flu vaccinations this year.

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Meijer pharmacists expect more flu shot traffic

October 4th, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Pharmacists at supercenter chain Meijer Inc. are forecasting a much busier season for flu vaccinations this year.

The reatiler said Thursday that it expects to administer 40% more flu shots this season than last because its walk-in immunization services and new options for flu shots are making it easier for individuals and families to get vaccinated.

Flu vaccine options at Meijer's 203 pharmacy locations include standard influenza injections in the arm ($24.99), FluMist nasal spray (by request for $29.99) and Fluzone High-Dose (for patients age 65 and older, typically covered by Medicare Part B).

And once supplies become available in mid-October, Meijer pharmacists also will administer the new quadrivalent flu vaccine, which protects again the four major strains of influenza for those ages 5 to 49.

Anyone who gets a flu vaccine at a Meijer pharmacy will receive a Meijer Health and Wellness Planner plus additional discounts on cold and flu products through the retailer's mPerks digital coupon program. A flu shot, as well as other immunizations offered at Meijer, could also count as a prescription toward credits in the new mPerks Pharmacy Rewards Program, which allows customers to earn savings on shopping and gas purchases.

"Meijer customers know that we're making it easy for them to take care of their families by offering walk-in services and a variety of immunization choices to better meet their needs," Nat Love, vice president of Meijer Drug Store, said in a statement. "If one person in your family is sick, chances are the illness will circulate throughout your home."

The seasonal flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine is available because it takes about 2 weeks for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the influenza virus.

"The seasonal flu vaccine is the No. 1 way to reduce the risk of getting the flu and spreading it others," Love added.