CAMP HILL, Pa. — Heightened influenza activity nationwide has prompted Rite Aid Corp. to spotlight its pharmacies as a convenient destination to get vaccinated for the flu.
Rite Aid said Thursday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports widespread flu activity in 46 states. While the nation is now in peak flu season — typically between December and February — but flu activity can run through March, the company noted.
The CDC estimates the flu will infect one in five Americans this year.
“With the CDC reporting widespread flu activity, health experts are predicting that the 2017-2018 flu season will be one of the worst in recent history,” according to Jocelyn Konrad, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid. “As we enter the peak of flu season, it’s not too late for people who haven’t been vaccinated against the flu to do so. Though it takes two weeks to gain full protection against the flu, getting a flu shot as soon as possible is the single best way to fight the flu, and the vaccine also helps to ease the severity and duration of symptoms if you come down with the flu.”
Rite Aid flu vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis at all of its pharmacies. The shots are administered by certified immunizing pharmacists, subject to state regulations, during pharmacy hours.
Three types of flu vaccines are available: a quadrivalent flu vaccine, which offers protection against four strains of the flu; the standard trivalent vaccine; and FLUAD, a trivalent vaccine with adjuvant, an ingredient that helps create a stronger immune response to vaccination. FLUAD is approved for people age 65 and older.
Rite Aid noted that its pharmacists also are on hand to counsel customers on over-the-counter medications — including pain relievers, cough/cold medicines and hydration products — that can help manage flu symptoms. Prescription medications Tamiflu and Relenza, too, are available for patients whose doctor has recommended they take one of these medicines or should have a script ready if they end up requiring them. Rite Aid said its store shelves also are stocked with extra supplies of hand sanitizer and soaps, masks, gloves, tissues and household disinfectants to help prevent the spread of flu.