HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- With flu season just around the corner, Kmart announces that its 2010 annual walk-in flu clinics are now open through Nov. 15. Customers can receive their seasonal flu vaccination for $25, while supplies last, at any of the more than 900 Kmart Pharmacy walk-in flu clinic locations. Flu shots are administered by a trained practitioner and are free for those covered by Medicare Part B. Those who purchase a flu vaccination will also receive a coupon book with up to $45 and a 10 percent off shopping pass valid through Dec. 4 on edibles, health and/or beauty care purchases.
"Following a 2009 flu season that saw significant outbreaks, including the H1N1 virus, Kmart Pharmacy is encouraging customers to get their vaccinations early in the season, especially since there is an incubation period before becoming fully effective," said Robb Ayshford, divisional vice president, pharmacy administration for Kmart. "The Kmart Pharmacy walk-in flu clinics are family friendly, have knowledgeable on-site pharmacists that can answer flu and health related questions and carry a range of supplies to help customers stay healthy during the winter season."
While the start of flu season often hits its peak in November, vaccinations are typically provided in September and October for early prevention. Kmart Pharmacy recommends early vaccinations because everyone's system reacts differently to the shot. For most people, antibodies that protect against influenza viruses develop approximately two weeks after vaccination. This year's vaccine will protect against 2009 H1N1, and two other influenza viruses (an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus).
Recognizing that everyone has different needs when it comes to health, Kmart Pharmacy will now also offer a new Fluzone High-Dose vaccine for $45, which is specially developed for people 65 years and older. The new Fluzone High-Dose vaccine will provide them with four times the amount of antigen contained in regular flu shots, which according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is designed to create a stronger immune response through more antibodies in the person getting the vaccine(1).
Kmart Pharmacy has more than 900 convenient locations offering flu clinics, and Kmart pharmacists are also available to answer any questions you may have about the flu vaccine and how flu might affect your family. To learn more about the flu clinics and hours of operation or to find the nearest location, call 1-800-822-8345 or visit www.Kmart.com/pharmacy.
About Seasonal Flu
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza, also known as the seasonal flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. In the United States, approximately five to 20 percent of the population becomes infected by the flu, with more than 200,000 people hospitalized from flu complications each year(2).
Although the virus is easily transferable, the best and easiest way to prevent the flu is by getting an annual vaccination. The flu virus is most commonly transferred through sneezing or coughing, but a person can also become infected through contact with a surface that has the flu virus on it and then touching his or her mouth or nose. This year the CDC is recommending anyone six months or older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions, get a flu shot.
Kmart, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq: SHLD), is a mass merchandising company that offers customers quality products through a portfolio of exclusive brands that include Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, County Living and Route 66. For more information visit the company's website at www.kmart.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.
(1.) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - http://www.flu.gov/individualfamily/vaccination/index.html
(2.) Center for Disease Control and Prevention - http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/disease.htm