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East Peoria Times-Courier - East Peoria, IL
  • Kroger prepared to administer record number of flu shots this season

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  • Kroger Central Division pharmacies are prepared to administer a record number of flu shots this season. Some flu shot providers order one supply for the season and stop administering the vaccine once that supply is exhausted. Kroger continues to reorder throughout the season to ensure an uninterrupted supply for customers. All 114 Central Division Kroger pharmacies currently have the 2012-13 influenza vaccine in stock for administration. 
    Flu shots are administered to eligible patients while the pharmacy is open. There is no need for an appointment. Some age restrictions apply and may be different in each state, so customers need to ask their local Kroger pharmacist for details. Flu shots are typically covered by Medicare Part B and most major insurance plans. For those who choose to pay out of pocket, the cost is $25. 
    “Kroger’s role as a proactive supporter of customer and associate wellness has grown dramatically every year, providing a mix of competitively priced, convenient wellness options,” said Greg Fox, Pharmacy Merchandiser for Kroger Central Division. “Flu vaccinations by Kroger pharmacists are only one rapidly growing component and a convenience that is particularly well-received by our customers and our own associates and their families.  We also leverage our manufacturing capacity to produce very healthy food options, use our packaging, signage and other communications tools to share healthy lifestyle messages, support dozens of health organizations and events in the local communities we serve and expect our pharmacists to lead health fairs and other community education efforts.”
    From the CDC ( http://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/early-season-nivw.htm ): “Significant increases in flu activity in the United States have occurred in the last two weeks, indicating that an early flu season is upon us. 
    "According to CDC’s weekly surveillance report published on Nov. 30, 2012, 48 states and Puerto Rico have already reported cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza and, nationally, the percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza is rising fast. Influenza-like-illness activity levels in parts of the country are already higher than all of last season. Most of the viruses characterized so far this season have been H3N2 viruses; which are typically associated with more severe seasons.
    "The good news is that most of the viruses characterized at CDC so far this season are well-matched to the vaccine viruses. As long as flu season isn’t over, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Unvaccinated people are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. While the protection afforded by vaccination varies based on vaccine match and the health and age of the person getting vaccinated, flu vaccination is the best way to protect against influenza. Everyone aged 6 months and older should get a flu vaccination each year to protect themselves and their loved ones against the flu.”

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