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08/25/2021

Giant Food providing flu shots at all pharmacies

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Giant Food customers can get a flu shot while shopping for their groceries.

Regional grocer Giant Food is making seasonal flu vaccinations available at all 152 of its in-store pharmacies for both adults and children, with no appointment required.

The vaccinations are administered by Giant's certified in-store pharmacists and are often covered in full by most insurance plans. New this year, COVID-19 vaccines and other flu and non-flu vaccines including tetanus, shingles, pneumonia, meningitis, and hepatitis can be administered together as the 14-day waiting period between COVID-19 and other vaccines is no longer recommended by health experts.

Giant Food is also currently offering a third dose of Moderna and Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations for immunocompromised individuals as defined by the CDC. The company initially signed up with the Department of Health and Human Services to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations in November 2020.

The flu vaccines Giant Food is offering for the 2021 season will cover four strains of the flu virus, and Giant Food will offer high-dose flu vaccines for adults aged 65 and older. Pharmacists can recommend and administer the appropriate immunizations based on specific patient needs, and all customers receiving flu shots will be offered a complimentary short questionnaire designed to identify any missing vaccinations. Insurance companies, including Medicare, are billed directly, often at $0 copays.

"The health of our community is of utmost importance to Giant, and we welcome everyone to come and meet with one of our specially trained, dedicated pharmacists about flu shots and other immunizations," said Paul Zvaleny, Giant Food director of pharmacy operations. "As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, it is of vital importance that individuals take preventative measures and receive immunizations to reduce risk of infection of both the seasonal flu and COVID-19 to keep themselves and communities healthy. Our Giant pharmacists go one step further and are able to travel for immunization clinics, which can be held at businesses, schools, universities, gyms, places of worship, local parks, or other regional locations."

Giant is also bringing back its Airstream this season for mobile flu clinics at locations throughout its operating region.

Drugstore retailer Walgreens is also now offering flu shots for everyone ages three and up by walk-in or appointment at more than 9,000 of its store locations across the U.S. Similar to Giant Food’s vaccination offering, Walgreens customers may also choose to get their flu shot while getting other routine immunizations like shingles, pneumonia, whooping cough, meningitis, measles, tetanus, typhoid, polio, and others.

In addition, Walgreens offers an artificial intelligence-based Nuance voicebot vaccination scheduler, which automatically confirms eligibility according to applicable guidelines, and schedules their vaccine appointments wherever vaccines are available. The Nuance solution also sends the customer an SMS text to confirm appointments after the call.

Giant Food is headquartered in Landover, Md. and operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Included within the 164 stores are 152 full-service pharmacies, 82 full-service PNC Banks and 24 Starbucks locations. There are 152 Giant Pickup locations and Giant delivery is available to all the company’s market areas in Washington, D.C., and Maryland.