Rite Aid locations all across Utica, Rome, and the Syracuse areas are now all offering seasonal flu shots.

Rite Aid encourages all age groups to get flu shots as soon as possible to help maintain strong immune systems, keep communities thriving and play a role in minimizing the number of flu hospitalizations this year.

"Rite Aid has remained on the front lines helping communities during these challenging times, and our team of certified immunizing pharmacists are the whole-being health advocates customers can depend on for guidance this flu season," said Jocelyn Konrad, executive vice president and chief pharmacy officer, Rite Aid. "Our trusted pharmacists are here seven days a week to offer a holistic approach to keeping our communities as healthy as possible, including insight into ancillary vaccines, as well as vitamins, supplements and wellness products that can support immunity and overall health."

With health care experts cautioning a potential second wave of COVID-19, this flu season comes at a critical time.

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This year, Rite Aid's flu vaccinations include:

·       Quadrivalent flu vaccine, which provides protection against four strains of the flu: the influenza A H3N2 virus, the influenza A H1N1 virus and two strains of influenza B virus

·       FLUAD, a quadrivalent vaccine with adjuvant, an ingredient that helps create a stronger immune response to vaccination, approved for people 65 and older

·       Fluzone HD, a high-dose vaccine indicated for patients 65 and older

·       Flublok, a unique vaccine that is processed without EGG, indicated for patients 18 and older"

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu shot early, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to become effective.