Rite Aid pharmacists provide regular seasonal flu shots to help prevent flu

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Patients have more options than ever this year at their local Rite Aid pharmacy to help prevent the flu. More than 2,000 Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacists in more than 1,500 Rite Aid stores have been giving regular seasonal flu shots and will continue to do so throughout the flu season.

Additionally, in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington, nurses have been and will continue giving regular seasonal flu shots on a first come, first served basis at flu shot clinics in more than 770 Rite Aid stores through mid-December. And in all other states in which Rite Aid operates, more than 1000 clinics will be held October 20, 21 and 22 and November 17, 18 and 19, from 2 to 6 p.m.

Details on all flu shot clinics and locations, as well as Rite Aid stores with immunizing pharmacists, can be found at www.riteaid.com or by calling toll-free 1-866-751-1494. After locating a Rite Aid store with an immunizing pharmacist, customers should call the store to check if appointments are necessary.

In addition to regular seasonal flu shots, pneumococcal shots for pneumonia also are being offered by Rite Aid pharmacists and at Rite Aid flu clinics. Many insurance plans cover the cost of the shots. Most customers with Medicare will have no co-pay. State regulations vary as to types of immunization that may be given by pharmacists and age requirements.

With two very distinct types of flu this year – the regular seasonal flu and H1N1 flu – health officials warn that extra prevention measures are necessary. H1N1 is an entirely different virus which affects groups like young adults who are not typically affected by the regular flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the regular seasonal flu vaccination will not protect against H1N1 flu, but the recommendation is for everyone to get a regular seasonal flu shot as soon as possible as it is the best way to prevent the regular seasonal flu.

For details on who should get a flu shot, information on the regular seasonal flu and H1N1 flu, symptoms, tips on preventing the flu and frequently asked questions and answers, visit www.flu.gov or www.riteaid.com. Rite Aid pharmacists also can counsel patients and answer questions about both the regular seasonal flu and H1N1 flu.

Rite Aid stores are stocked with supplies such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers/hand rubs, thermometers, masks and other flu-related items. Stores also are stocked with the prescription medications Tamiflu and Relenza for those patients whose doctor has recommended they take one of these medications or should have a prescription ready if they do require the medications.

To ensure the needs of pediatric patients are met during the current shortage of Tamiflu Oral Suspension (liquid), Rite Aid pharmacists are trained and prepared to compound children’s doses of Tamiflu. The compounding involves using the ingredients from Tamiflu capsules and Ora-Sweet Sugar Free Syrup which is a Food and Drug Administration-approved method of preparation until more children’s doses can be manufactured.

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