GRAND RAPIDS, Mich, 2017-Jan-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Meijer stores have experienced a 30 percent increase in cold and flu remedies being purchased over the counter at its pharmacies in recent weeks. According to Meijer pharmacists, this activity most likely indicates that many consumers may have passed on getting their annual flu shot.
“Flu viruses commonly peak in January and February. If you and your family have not gotten a flu shot, you can still get one,” Meijer Pharmacy Operations Vice President Karen Mankowski said. “It’s always better to get your flu shot earlier in the season, but there is no expiration date. Getting a vaccination now can only provide a better chance to protect yourself against the flu and help all of us stay healthier.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published that influenza activity is on the rise and that outpatient visits to the doctor are expected to increase in the coming weeks. The current flu shot for the 2016-2017 season is a good match for the predominant circulating H1N1, H3N2 and B strains.
Seasonal influenza, also known as “the flu,” is a contagious respiratory disease that can cause mild to severe illness, and at times, lead to hospitalization and serious complications. Every flu season is different, and influenza effects vary. Common symptoms include fever, headache, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, and tiredness. Mankowski says it is important to understand the facts. Click here for the top Meijer flu myth busters.
Health experts recommend everyone over the age of six months should get vaccinated as soon as possible because it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the influenza virus.
Mankowski said each of the retailer’s 230 Meijer Pharmacies offer walk-in services without appointments and no co-pay fees under most insurance plans. Depending on age, health status and state regulations, Meijer pharmacies offer a variety of vaccine options.
The flu vaccine, as well as other immunizations offered at Meijer, could also count as a prescription toward credits in the mPerks Pharmacy Rewards Program, which allows customers to earn savings on shopping and gas purchases. See program details for restrictions.
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 230 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.