BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons pharmacies have annual flu vaccinations in stock and are reminding customers that while they are getting vaccinated, it's a great time to review their immunization records and talk to their pharmacist about other health concerns, too.
"A quick trip to the store for your daily staples can also be a convenient time to chat with our pharmacists about broader health care needs," stated Mark Panzer, Albertsons SVP pharmacy health and wellness. "Our pharmacists can screen and protect customers against other vaccine-preventable diseases like tetanus, whooping cough, pneumonia and shingles, all while getting their flu shot."
By adding flu immunizations every year to a "to-do" list, patients can help prevent the spread of the flu virus. Other common, contagious (and often preventable) diseases like whooping cough and pneumonia are just as easy to be vaccinated for – and they can also be administered at the pharmacy.
"We want to do all we can to keep our communities healthy, which is why our pharmacists not only provide flu vaccinations, but take the time to do comprehensive immunization assessments and educate customers on the benefits of each vaccine," Panzer said. "With immunization coverage among adults being low, our pharmacists are well positioned to improve immunization rates for all adults and protect the health of the communities we serve."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older, with rare exceptions, get an annual flu vaccination as soon as it is available. Vaccinations help protect individuals and those around them from possible severe symptoms, flu-related complications, and hospitalization. With up to 20% of Americans getting sick with the flu annually, flu vaccination early in the flu season continues to provide the best protection.
The CDC also recommends additional vaccinations for certain age groups as detailed below, with few exceptions:
Adults age 19 and older: one dose of the whooping cough vaccine and one dose of the tetanus vaccine every 10 years;
Adults age 60 and older: one dose of the shingles vaccine; and
Adults age 65 and older: two different pneumococcal vaccines one year apart.
These vaccines provide protection against the 1 million cases of shingles, 40,000 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease and 28,000 cases of whooping cough seen in the United States on an annual basis.
All vaccines permitted per state can be administered on a "walk-in" basis with no appointment necessary and are offered at more than 1,700 Albertsons pharmacies, including those in Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, and Carrs stores.
Most insurance plans cover the flu shot and other immunizations. Everyone who receives an immunization will also receive a coupon for 10% off a grocery purchase, where permitted by law.