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    Supervalu, Winn-Dixie, Stater Bros. Roll Out Latest Flu Shot Programs

    With an eye on convenience, cost and consumer education, Supervalu Pharmacies is expanding its traditional flu shot program by offering help to ease some of the anxieties the upcoming flu season may bring.

    With an eye on convenience, cost and consumer education, Supervalu Pharmacies is expanding its traditional flu shot program by offering help to ease some of the anxieties the upcoming flu season may bring. Like in seasons past, specially trained and certified Supervalu pharmacists will be available to administer in-store flu shots by appointment, during regular pharmacy hours. However this year, the company has trained an additional 40 percent of its pharmacists to administer immunizations -- a move to increase convenience for walk-in customers without appointments, during what is expected to be a heavy flu-shot season.

    Additionally, the company will provide literature that explains the differences between seasonal flu and H1N1, also called swine flu, along with tips that can help consumers stay healthy during the upcoming cold and flu season. There is no charge for the educational materials.

    “With growing concerns around H1N1 and the annual seasonal flu virus, we at Supervalu Pharmacies want our customers to know they have the ability to reduce the spread of influenza, and we’re here to help,” said Chris Dimos, president of the Supervalu’s Franklin Park, Ill.-based pharmacy division. “In many cases, it’s a lack of knowledge that stops people from getting preventative care, like flu shots, that can help them avoid serious complications down the line.”

    Because cost is an important consideration for consumers, Supervalu Pharmacies will offer flu shots at $24.99, a competitive value in the current market. Medicare Part B and many medical insurance plans are accepted.

    “One of our goals…is to build healthier communities in the areas we serve. By educating our customers about the role affordable flu shots can play in any plan for good health, we hope to empower them to join us in that mission,” said Dimos, who added that while there is no cure for influenza, getting a yearly flu shot is a major step toward preventing seasonal flu.

    Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. has begun offering walk-in flu vaccinations to shoppers in all of its Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in-store pharmacies, as well as several locations in Florida and Georgia. The grocer will start providing vaccination clinics in all of its in-store pharmacies on Tuesday, Sept 15. Customers who use their Winn-Dixie Customer Reward Card will get a $5 discount, while Medicare Part B participants will receive the flu shots at no charge.

    “According to the CDC, the single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Offering our customers an economical vaccine program remains a top priority for Winn-Dixie,” noted Robin Miller, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company’s director of communications. “Besides the convenience, offering these vaccines at competitive rates in our stores will save our customers and their health insurers more than $2 million.”

    Licensed health care professional are administering the vaccines, and no appointment is necessary. For a list of dates, times and store locations where the vaccination clinics are being held, shoppers can contact their local Winn-Dixie pharmacist or visit http://winn-dixie.com/Store_Locations/search.asp.

    As well as the flu vaccinations being offered, Winn-Dixie is working with local, state and federal health authorities to help administer H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines when they become available.

    Starting Sept. 17 and running through Nov. 1, most Stater Bros. Supermarkets locations will offer seasonal flu and pneumonia vaccines at a substantial savings vs. doctor-administered vaccines. The flu vaccination clinics will be held in partnership with Test-Med Vaccination Services during scheduled days and times in September, October and November. Licensed nurses will administer the vaccines to adults age 18 and over, and the vaccinations, which cost $25 apiece, will be offered as long as supplies last.

    As Test-Med is an approved Medicare part B provider, San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros. advises eligible customers to bring their Medicare ID cards to the clinic to find out if they are eligible to receive the vaccination free.

    “In the current economic environment, many of our customers have been forced to cut costs at the expense of their health,” noted Stater Bros. chairman and CEO Jack H. Brown. “Stater Bros. has made the process of getting a flu shot affordable and convenient, so that our customers will have no reason to go unprotected this flu season.”

    In common with Winn-Dixie, Stater Bros. has requested from the proper health authorities a supply of the swine flu virus vaccine, which it expects to be available in November.

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