Rite Aid Corporation, a U.S. drugstore chain, announced on Thursday that seasonal flu shots are currently available at all Rite Aid pharmacies throughout the U.S.
Rite Aid said customers can visit any of the company's more than 4,600 pharmacies to receive a flu shot. The shots are available during pharmacy hours and are covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B.
"While it's too early to tell what the 2013-2014 flu season will bring it's not too early to visit your Rite Aid pharmacist for a flu shot," Robert Thompson, Rite Aid's executive vice president of pharmacy, said. "Getting a flu shot as soon as it is available remains the single best way to protect yourself and others against the flu because the more people in a community who are immunized the less chance of a widespread outbreak in that community."
Rite Aid pharmacies are equipped with regular injectable flu shots, a high-dose flu shot approved for people aged 65 and up and an intradermal flu shot for people between the ages of 18 and 64. Rite Aid pharmacies can also order and administer intranasal flu shots.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza costs businesses approximately $10.4 billion annually in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults. The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu shot as soon as it is available. Certain groups of people are at greater risk for flu complications, including pregnant women, adults over 65, individuals with compromised immune systems, individuals with kidney, liver and heart disorders and children under five with asthma and other chronic lung diseases.
"Even if you aren't in one of these high risk groups if someone in your family is you can help to protect your at-risk loved one by shielding yourself," Thompson said.