BOISE, Idaho — Flu season is approaching and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging flu and COVID-19 vaccinations as one of the best ways to stay healthy and minimize the strain on our national health systems. Albertsons Cos. pharmacies announced that they are stocked and ready with both vaccines, including COVID-19 booster shots for select patients who are immunocompromised.
“Our pharmacy teams are dedicated to protecting the health of the communities we serve, and we are committed to ensuring everyone has access to COVID-19 and flu vaccines. We have administered more than 6.5 million COVID-19 vaccinations to date, and with flu season approaching, we are now offering flu shots as well,” said Omer Gajial, Albertsons Cos. SVP of Pharmacy and Health. “Customers can now safely receive both vaccines via a single appointment or can also schedule them independently.”
No appointment is necessary to get vaccinated at an Albertsons Cos. pharmacy. COVID-19 vaccines as well as flu and other vaccines can be administered on a “walk-in” basis.
Flu vaccinations are available to children as young as 6 months of age, where allowed by state law. Currently, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to patients as young as 12 years old, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are available for patients 18 and older. An adult must sign a consent and release form for minor patients receiving vaccinations. Customers who receive vaccinations at any Albertsons Cos. pharmacy receive access to a free digital vaccine record they can download and save to a digital device for their own use.
“According to CDC guidelines, it is still recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and an additional dose of mRNA vaccine is recommended for qualifying individuals who are immunocompromised, “said Erin Shaal, Albertsons Cos. VP of Pharmacy Procurement, Specialty and Patient Care Services. “Your Albertsons Cos. pharmacists can help you determine which vaccines are best for you and staying up-to-date with recommended vaccines is the best tool we have to protect the individuals and communities we serve.”
The flu is a contagious disease that typically spreads in the U.S. between October and May through coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Flu strains vary and can affect people each year. The CDC currently recommends everyone 6 months and older, with rare exceptions, get their annual flu vaccination to prevent getting the most common flu viruses, which can cause possible severe symptoms, flu-related complications, hospitalization, and even death.
According to a recent study by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the influenza vaccine may provide additional protection against severe COVID-19 complications. Patients with COVID-19 who had received the flu shot were less likely to visit the ER, be admitted to the ICU, or have a stroke, sepsis, or deep vein thrombosis.
No appointment is necessary to get vaccinated at an Albertsons Cos. pharmacy. COVID-19 vaccines as well as flu and other vaccines can be administered on a “walk-in” basis at Albertsons Cos. 1,725 pharmacy locations, including those in Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, and Carrs stores.