The influenza vaccine for the 2016-2017 flu season is now available at all Wegmans Food Markets locations. At Wegmans, receiving the flu vaccination is as easy as picking up a few items for dinner – just stop by the store pharmacy during normal business hours; no need for a prescription or appointment, and in most cases, the fee is covered in full by insurance.
Each year, millions of Americans come down with the flu and hundreds of thousands of them are hospitalized. Flu vaccine effectiveness can vary from year to year, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that for the 2013-2014 flu season, the vaccine prevented approximately 7.2 million illnesses and 90,000 hospitalizations. In an effort to continuously improve prevention of seasonal flu, the CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot every year.
“By offering the flu vaccination in our pharmacies, we’re making it easy for our customers to protect themselves from the seasonal flu, while also improving immunization rates in the communities we serve,” says Katie Niles, Wegmans pharmacist and pharmacy clinical wellness services manager.
Wegmans pharmacists, certified through the American Pharmacists Association’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program, started administering flu shots in 2010, and since then the number of customers visiting the pharmacy for an immunization has grown between 30 and 40 percent each year. Last flu season, Wegmans administered more than 75,000 flu vaccinations.
Wegmans pharmacies in New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland offer the flu vaccine for kids and adults, as well as high dose for seniors. In New York and Massachusetts, the flu vaccine is available for adults 18 years and older and high dose for seniors.
The Wegmans Pharmacy Business Partnership Program offers onsite flu clinics for employers interested in giving employees a quick and easy way to protect themselves from the flu, without leaving the office. Wegmans makes it easy for employers to host an on-site flu clinic with online scheduling for employees to sign up for a flu shot timeslot, and the ability to bill individual plan sponsors or billing direct to employers. The employer on-site flu clinics are offered in all Wegmans’ market areas. For more information, contact Brian Pompo, Wegmans Pharmacy Business Relations Manager, at Brian.Pompo@wegmans.com.
In addition to the flu vaccine, Wegmans locations throughout the company’s six-state footprint offer an array of immunizations. Due to state regulations, customers should visit Wegmans.com to see which vaccines are available in their state. Depending upon the state, customers may receive immunizations against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, varicella (chicken pox), herpes zoster (shingles), human papillomavirus (HPV), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), meningococcal (meningitis), pneumococcal disease (pneumonia), tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
“We’re helping our customers and employees live healthier, better lives by giving them access to immunizations that protect them from serious illnesses that could lead to hospitalization and additional medical costs,” said Niles.
Wegmans pharmacy employees can also assist customers who need help determining their insurance policy’s coverage.