September 27, 2011
By Carolyn Shapiro
Grocery list for the week: milk, bread, pork chops, flu shot.
Yes, a flu shot. These days, consumers can get vaccinated against the flu where they buy food or facial cleanser, including Harris Teeter and Farm Fresh supermarkets, the chain drugstores, and Walmart and Target discount stores.
Officials of the grocery companies said influenza vaccines are part of an expansion of their pharmacy services and reflect a greater emphasis on educating customers about health and wellness.
"The thing about grocery stores is, people go there frequently," said Edward Fox, a retail marketing professor for Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business in Dallas. Flu shots are "essentially a community service. All retail is local, and by providing a service like this, you show the community bona fides."
At the drugstores, flu shots add to a growing menu of medical management that consumers used to visit their doctors to do: screenings for blood glucose and cholesterol, advice on ailments, and immunizations for diseases such as hepatitis and shingles.
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