Pharmacy Chains Report Higher Than Usual Demand for Flu Vaccines

November 4, 2020
Christine Blank

Pharmacies are seeing an increased demand for flu vaccines in the first season that coincides with the coronavirus pandemic.

Americans are taking the advice of US health care leaders, pharmacists, and others by getting flu vaccinations in record numbers this fall.

CVS Health pharmacy staff have already administered more influenza vaccinations than the 9 million flu vaccines it gave during the entire previous flu season, a spokesperson told Bloomberg.1 Plus, CVS expects to double that number by the end of this season, the spokesperson said.

Similarly, Walgreens has administered 60% more flu vaccines this fall than at this time last year, Rina Shah, group vice president of pharmacy operations, said in the article.1

"We have, indeed, seen higher than usual demand at this point,” Kelli Teno, a spokesperson for Walgreens, told Drug Topics®. However, Teno said Walgreens does not provide the specific number of vaccinations it has given.

NACDS, APhA, and other pharmacy groups have been urging Americans to get the flu vaccine for months.

In fact, NACDS launched a nationwide awareness campaign on the importance of flu vaccinations this fall, particularly to avoid an overrun of the health care system due to the dual threat of flu and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“Adding to the challenge of defeating COVID-19 is a flu season that is rapidly approaching and presenting the possibility of a two-front public health war,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson in a news release.2 “We need to call on Americans to do what they can right now to protect themselves and to protect their loved ones, and getting their flu vaccinations is a vital part of that.”

References

1. LaVito A, Court E. Pharmacies see record flu shot demand in first season with Covid. Bloomberg. October, 26, 2020. Accessed November 3, 2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-26/pharmacies-see-record-flu-shot-demand-in-first-season-with-covid

2. NACDS urges flu vaccinations as two-front public health war looms with COVID-19. News release. NACDS; September 2, 2020. Accessed September 2, 2020. https://www.nacds.org/news/nacds-urges-flu-vaccinations-as-two-front-public-health-war-looms-with-covid-19/