All local Kroger pharmacies now offer flu shots to individuals starting at 7 years old. No prescription is necessary and the vaccination is covered under most insurance plans, including Medicare. Patients are not required to make an appointment. All shots are administered by certified Kroger pharmacists.
In March 2015, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law, a bill which changed the scope and age limits on certain types of immunizations that may be administered by pharmacists and pharmacy interns. Prior to the law change, Ohio pharmacists were only able to give flu shots to patients 14 years or older.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu shot for all individuals ages 6 months and older. “It is important for all eligible individuals, particularly children and senior citizens, who are most susceptible to disease, to receive the flu vaccine this season. It is still the single-best way to protect against flu,” said Tara Green, Pharm.D., and Kroger Columbus Division pharmacist. “The vaccine not only protects you from becoming ill, but it also prevents the disease from transmitting to others. By getting a flu shot, you are helping yourself, your family and community stay healthy.”
Kroger will be offering several types of flu vaccines this year, including the common trivalent vaccine, the quadrivalent vaccine that covers an extra strain of influenza, and the Fluzone® High-Dose for those ages 65 and older. The high-dose vaccine gives senior adults who are more susceptible to the flu a stronger immune response after vaccination, as it contains four times more antigen than the regular vaccine. Later in September, Kroger will also offer the nasal spray version of the vaccine while supplies last.
“Many people are wondering if the flu vaccine will be a better match this season,” said Green. “This year’s vaccine includes two new strains, so it likely will be. Even if it’s not an ideal match to what strain hits, a flu shot still decreases the risk of getting the flu or the severity of symptoms.”
When receiving a flu shot, ask your Kroger pharmacist about other vaccines you may need, such as pneumonia, shingles, tetanus and whooping cough. During the same visit, many people can receive another important vaccine that will help protect their health.