Hy-Vee is now offering childhood vaccinations through its more than 270 pharmacy locations in eight states.
Immunizations typically given at well-child visits by a physician can now be administered by a Hy-Vee pharmacist without a prescription or an appointment. Medicaid and most insurance plans cover immunizations at no charge. The news comes at a time when many families are making plans to get their annual flu shot, which Hy-Vee said are in plentiful supply.
The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a protocol change to increase access to lifesaving childhood vaccines. To help avoid vaccine-preventable diseases from spreading as children return to daycares and schools, HHS has authorized state licensed pharmacists to administer FDA approved vaccines to children age three to 18 years.
“While many families have stayed at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, these critical milestone immunizations may have been missed,” says Aaron Wiese, Hy-Vee senior vice president and chief health officer. “Health and wellness are central to our mission, and we’re proud to partner with parents to help keep children and communities healthy by offering a convenient way to ensure kids’ vaccinations are up to date.”
Customers are now able to complete and submit their Vaccine Consent Form as well as book an appointment for vaccinations or flu shots in advance online.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Hy-Vee continues to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for safety and precautions.
"Our stores, including our pharmacy areas, maintain enhanced cleaning regimens, social distancing protocols and Plexiglas shields at registers and customer service counters," Hy-Vee said.
Hy-Vee has implemented the following measures to ensure the safe administration of immunizations for patients and pharmacy team members:
- All Hy-Vee pharmacy team members are required to wear face masks at all times, including while administering immunizations;
- Any patient with COVID-19-like symptoms or who has had prolonged exposure to a positive case should wait the appropriate amount of time prior to receiving their vaccine for the health and safety of patients and team members; and
- Patients receiving a vaccination will need to wear a face covering.
The CDC found a drop in childhood immunizations in a report issued in May 2020. Because the decrease in childhood vaccination rates is a public health threat, HHS has expanded access to childhood vaccines to avoid preventable disease spread in children which could cause additional strains on the healthcare system.