Starting this past Sunday, Rite Aid Corp. has begun offering discounted flu shots to sway more people to get inoculated.

Rite Aid, discounted flu shots, flu vaccination, National Influenza Vaccination Week, pharmacy, Robert Thompson, flu vaccine, influenza, drug chain, immunizations

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Rite Aid serves up discounted flu shots

December 2nd, 2013

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Starting this past Sunday, Rite Aid Corp. has begun offering discounted flu shots to sway more people to get inoculated.

Rite Aid said Monday that it's reducing the price of a flu vaccination to $24.99, a savings of $5, in support of National Influenza Vaccination Week, which runs Dec. 8 to 14.

The drug chain is providing the discounted influenza vaccines, administered by certified immunizing pharmacists, now through Dec. 14. The discount applies to standard flu or Fluzone Intradermal vaccinations.

Established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2005, National Influenza Vaccination Week is a nationwide observance to highlight the importance of flu vaccination as well as promote greater use of flu vaccine after the holiday season into January and thereafter, when the incidence of flu typically peaks.

"Getting a flu shot is the single best way to protect yourself and those around you from getting the flu," Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid, said in a statement. "The good news is it's not too late to get a flu shot, and by lowering the price of flu shots during National Influenza Vaccination Week, we're hoping to encourage people to get vaccinated and be protected throughout the winter months, as flu activity is expected increase."

The CDC recommends that everyone age six months and older get a flu shot as soon as it is available, since it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. The 2013-14 vaccine protects against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that emerged in 2009.

Rite Aid noted that, subject to state regulations, its pharmacists also can administer vaccinations for 12 other diseases, such as pertussis, shingles and pneumonia.

The drug chain has steadily grown its immunization business. In its 2012 fiscal year, the company administered 1.66 million vaccinations (1.46 million of which were for flu), and in fiscal 2013, which ended March 2, that total climbed to nearly 2.77 million immunizations (including 2.35 million flu vaccines).

For its current 2014 fiscal year, Rite Aid expects to have provided 2.95 immunizations overall, including 2.5 million flu vaccinations.