Retailers, including Hy-Vee, Albertsons and Walgreens are ready to protect their customers from COVID-19 and RSV.
Hy-Vee is offering the new, updated COVID-19 vaccines for the 2023-2024 season at Hy-Vee Pharmacy locations across the Midwest. At this time, Hy-Vee is offering the updated COVID-19 vaccines to individuals ages 12+.
Individuals can save time by scheduling an appointment in advance at Hy-Vee Pharmacy by visiting online here. Walk ins also are accepted during normal pharmacy operating hours. Individuals also can request to receive a flu vaccine and/or RSV vaccine (only for ages 60+) at the time of their COVID-19 vaccination at Hy-Vee, the company said.
Updated COVID-19 vaccines for younger age groups are expected to become available at select Hy-Vee Pharmacy locations in the following weeks.
[Read more: Retailers ready to provide updated COVID-19 shots]
Hy-Vee noted that the FDA and CDC have recommended that all individuals ages 6 months and older receive the updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for the 2023-2024 season. Those who have previously received COVID-19 vaccines should wait at least 2 months after their last dose before receiving the new, updated COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals who are severely to moderately immunocompromised also can receive an additional updated COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months after their last updated dose.
According to the FDA and CDC, the new, updated COVID-19 vaccines are reformulated to provide better protection against the virus variants currently responsible for most infections and hospitalizations in the United States.
Vaccine recipients should bring the following to their Hy-Vee Pharmacy appointment:
• Insurance card (if they have insurance)
• Medicare Part B red, white and blue card (if Medicare recipient)
• Photo ID
The new, updated COVID-19 vaccine for the 2023-2024 season is the first group of COVID-19 vaccines to become commercially available following the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The updated COVID-19 vaccine is still free with most private and public insurance plans at this time.
Adults who do not have health insurance or those whose insurance does not cover all COVID-19 costs may still receive the COVID-19 vaccine for free through the CDC’s Bridge Access Program through Dec. 31, 2024. At this time, Hy-Vee is not part of the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. Individuals without health insurance may receive a free COVID-19 vaccine at state and local health departments and federally qualified health centers. To find a nearby CDC Bridge Access provider, patients can visit online here.
According to medical experts, a “tripledemic” may soon be on the horizon with the circulation of COVID-19, flu and RSV viruses. It’s recommended that individuals get their flu and COVID-19 vaccines this fall to help reduce the spread and protect individuals from serious infection. Those who get their flu shot at Hy-Vee also can earn a 20-cent Hy-Vee Fuel Saver reward.
It also is recommended that individuals ages 60+ get the new, single-dose RSV vaccine, which is available at Hy-Vee pharmacies with no appointment or prescription necessary.
The CDC has approved co-administration of the COVID-19, flu and RSV vaccines, so individuals can get all three vaccines (if eligible) in one appointment, Hy-Vee said.
Individuals can request to receive the flu and/or RSV vaccine at the time of their COVID-19 vaccination appointment at Hy-Vee, the company noted.
Albertsons is not standing on the sidelines. The company noted that as cases of influenza and respiratory illness are expected to rise across the country, more than 1,700 Albertsons Co.’s pharmacy locations across Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb and more, are equipped to begin administering the latest monovalent mRNA COVID vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, the annual flu vaccine, as well as the respiratory syncytial virus vaccine, which is now approved for adults ages 60 and up.
“Our pharmacy teams have been long-standing community health partners administering vital medications and vaccines to millions of patients across the country each year,” said Anthony DalPonte, group vice president of pharmacy at Albertsons. “Vaccines are essential in helping prevent the transmission of viruses in order to protect our family members, friends and neighbors from severe illness, particularly those who are most vulnerable to respiratory disease.”
Albertsons’ convenient pharmacy service helps support individuals and families, including those who may not have immediate access to a physician or clinic. Vaccinations can be scheduled by appointment or walk-in, with most locations offering evening and weekend hours. Customers can schedule appointments for up to five immunizations together using the vaccine appointment scheduler, available on the grocery app or website.
For every vaccination received at an Albertsons’ pharmacy, recipients will receive a coupon eligible for 10% off their next grocery purchase up to $200, and access to a free digital vaccine record.
To find more information about the current vaccines available, visit albertsons.com/pharmacy.
Walgreens announced that it pharmacies nationwide have COVID-19 vaccine supply and additional appointments are now available.
"All stores now have the supply needed to meet demand in their communities. Additional appointments have been added to our scheduler and will continue to be made available at our sites based on supply. We are updating Walgreens.com and our app with real-time appointment availability so patients have accurate information. As with all COVID-19 vaccine launches, moving vaccine from manufacturer to distributors to provider sites where needed can take time," Walgreens said.
Walgreens added that it has made appointments available at each of its community sites on a rolling basis as supply became available. "Our goal continues to be to ensure vaccines access across our communities for those that want to be immunized. We defer to manufacturers and distributors for additional supply chain details."
Patients are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, via the Walgreens app, or call 1-800-WALGREENS. "We also encourage everyone to bring insurance information to their appointment if available but will not turn away those whose insurance does not cover the updated COVID-19 vaccine," Walgreens said.