The Seattle-area drug chain said Monday that the flu vaccines are available on a walk-in basis during pharmacy hours, and pharmacists can immunize anyone age 5 and older (ages 5 through 17 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian).
Along with the standard 2015-16 trivalent flu vaccine, which protects against two influenza A viruses (H1N1 and H3N2) and one influenza B virus, Bartell Drugs is offering a quadrivalent vaccine that provides protection against an additional influenza B virus. That vaccination also is available as a FluMist nasal spray vaccine option.
In addition, Bartell Drugs is making available the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine for seniors. The high-dose vaccination contains a higher amount of antigen than regular flu shots, creating a better immune response.
For local businesses or retirement communities with 15 or more employees or residents, Bartell Drugs is offering an off-site flu clinic program. For businesses, the program provides a convenient way to decrease lost productivity and time due to sickness, the drug chain noted. Meanwhile, for retirement communities, the program helps residents protect themselves as well as those around them, some of whom may be at higher risk from complications associated with the flu.
“Getting vaccinated prevents or minimizes the effects of the flu,” Billy Chow, vice president of pharmacy operations and clinical services at Bartell Drugs, said in a statement. “It’s important to get started before the onset of flu activity, since it takes two weeks for the body to develop influenza antibodies following the vaccine administration.”