Blue Light Special, On Flu Shots

Kmart Pharmacies across the country are offering flu shots that the company said will cost $0 with “most insurance plans asterisk”.

What a brave new world we live in: flu shots at Kmart (original home of the “Blue Light Special”), with insurance companies paying for them. What happened?

Actually, this deal tracks two emerging trends: 1. More retailers are adding in-store clinics; and 2. Health plans have gotten into preventative health because it, like, saves them money in the long run.

Kmart Pharmacy polled its customers, and reports that almost a quarter [23 percent] said that price plays a significant role when deciding if they should get vaccinated.

The company is also offering this Myth/Fact format advice for the flu-shot-sceptics out there:

  • Myth: The flu shot does not protect me from the virus: The Kmart Pharmacy survey found that approximately 33 percent of survey respondents typically do not get a flu shot because they believe the vaccine either won’t protect them or will give them the flu.
    • This is a common misconception – the flu shot simply cannot cause the flu. In fact, the flu vaccine is intended to create a stronger immune system to keep you from not catching the bug, and lessens the chances of spreading the flu virus to others.
  • Myth: I never get the flu so I do not need a flu shot: Although some individuals are more susceptible to developing serious flu-related complications than others, including children under the age of five and adults age 65 or older, no one is immune from getting the flu.
    • The vaccine not only helps protect you, but others around you as well.
  • Myth: I can’t get the flu shot because I’m pregnant: The Kmart Pharmacy survey found that nearly 72 percent of survey respondents think it is not safe for pregnant women to get the flu shot. False.
    • The flu shot is perfectly safe for pregnant women, who are especially more susceptible to developing serious illness from the flu.
  • Myth: Antibiotics can help treat the flu: More than a third [35 percent] of survey respondents also believe the flu can be treated with antibiotics.
    • However, most flus are viral illnesses, not bacterial, so antibiotics are not usually the best treatment option, which is why receiving the vaccine ahead of flu season is so important.

Almost every doctor and public health expert in the U.S. agrees with this pro-flu-shot stance, by the way. It’s not just Kmart drumming up business.

So, check with Kmart and your insurer to see if you qualify for a free shot. (You’ll probably find similar deals at other in-store clinic operators, too).

Copyright Today’s Credit Unions