Retail News Breaks
Jewel-Osco stocks up on flu vaccine
January 14th, 2013
ITASCA, Ill. – Jewel-Osco is boosting its supply of flu vaccine amid escalating reports of influenza cases by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Supervalu Inc. food and drug chain said Monday that it plans to ship about 7,000 extra doses of the flu vaccine to its pharmacies, with deliveries scheduled to begin Jan. 15 and continue the next day.
About 170 Jewel-Osco pharmacies are slated to receive some of the additional doses, the company said, adding that delivery dates are based on store locations.
Jewel-Osco reported that it has experienced a rise in demand for the flu vaccine this season compared with last flu season.
The chain's trained immunizers can administer the traditional flu shot and the needle-free FluMist nasal spray, as well as the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine for people age 65 and older.
The vaccine is available on a walk-in basis, during regular pharmacy hours, for $29.99 for the traditional shot or the FluMist. The Fluzone HD vaccine is priced at $59.99.
Overall, Jewel-Osco operates 179 stores in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.
At its regular flu activity briefing on Friday, the CDC said 24 states are reporting a high level of influenza-like illness activity, and 16 are reporting moderate levels of activity. In addition, 47 states report widespread geographic influenza activity, up from 41 states the previous week.
CDC director Tom Frieden said during the briefing that flu activity remains "elevated" in most of the nation.
"It may be decreasing in some areas, but that's hard to predict, particularly when you have data from over the holiday season. Declines may be because the disease level has peaked in some areas and is coming down. Or next week we may see that go up again," Frieden explained. "But we are seeing a decrease in the most recent week in some areas, while other parts of the country, particularly in the west, appear to continue to be on the upswing since they experienced the flu this season more recently in the season. This really is not surprising. Influenza activity ebbs and flows during flu season and tends to spread across the country."
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