Monday, August 15, 2011

Get flu shots early

It's still so hot outside, who's thinking about flu season? Kerr Drug and CVS are.

Two months ahead of the usual schedule, the two national pharmacy chains have announced they are offering flu vaccine starting this month.

This year's vaccine will be similar to last year's, and like last year's, it will include protection against H1N1, the swine flu strain that started the recent pandemic. Now, swine flu is one of the annual circulating viruses included in the flu vaccine.

There's a new product this year. Fluzone High-Dose is a vaccine designed specifically for people 65 years and older. It's made with the same ingredients as the standard flu shot, but is designed to provide stronger protection from influenza for this age group, which has a greater risk of developing a severe illness from influenza. CVS will be offering Fluzone, but Kerr Drug will not.

Just like last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine.

No appointments are necessary, and vaccinations are available at CVS and Kerr Drug stores during regular hours. "It’s never been easier to get a flu shot and it offers the best protection against the flu,” said Kerr Drug CEO Anthony Civello.

The vaccine is $30 at Kerr Drug, which accepts most insurance plans. CVS charges $29.99, but also accepts most insurance plans; customers whose insurance does not pay for the vaccine will receive a $5 CVS/pharmacy gift card.

And by the way, health experts say the vaccine will last through the entire season even if you get it early. "If you get you flu shot now, you will be protected well through flu season which is generally late Jan through the end of March," said Dr. Stephen Keener, medical director of the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this a paid advertisement for Kerr Drug and CVS? What about your independent pharmacy. Also, where is the statement that informs people that this vaccination is only good for 6 months max. Do you suggest getting a 2nd shot in February?

Anonymous said...

seems like all the pharmacies are pushing early immunizations this year (not just CVS and Kerr). i see signs posted at most pharmacies ie. Rite Aid, Walgreens, Cannon, Walker etc...definitely free advertising for CVS and Kerr. as far as i know the vaccine for 2011-12 will not change so probably better sooner than later. i've read that if flu season peaks later in the year the vaccine may not be as effective because of the flu strain being able to mutate from person to person.

Anonymous said...

Rite Aid is the cheapest...$27.99