Safeway pharmacies offer flu vaccines

Safeway pharmacies have begun offering flu vaccinations on a walk-in basis with no appointment required.

On Maui, the vaccinations will be offered at Safeway’s stores in Kahului (893-0606), Kihei (891-9130) and at Maui Lani (243-3527). The Maui Lani store celebrates its grand opening Sept. 20.

The pharmacies are able to bill Medicare B, HMSA, HMAA and UHA, and provide vaccinations to health plan participants at no charge. Some HMA patients need to make a small co-payment.

Safeway provides flu clinics for businesses, senior centers and nursing homes, according to an announcement.

All those who receive vaccinations will get 10 percent Safeway coupons.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months old and older get their annual flu vaccination as soon as the vaccine becomes available. Annual vaccinations are especially important to avoid flu-related complications for people with chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or immunosuppressive conditions.

Safeway pharmacies are stocked with Fluzone HD, a high-dose shot available for patients 65 years old and older, as well as regular-strength and preservative-free doses.

For businesses and organizations seeking information about an on-site clinic, call Stan Leung at (925) 467-2630.

On average, about 24,000 Americans die from the flu each year, according to federal health officials.

Experts recommend that people get vaccinated in early fall, which provides enough time for the two-week period for the vaccine to take effect.

Flu season peaks in January and February.

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