October 26, 2016
The holidays are a great time to gather with family and friends. All that togetherness can spread love, happiness and – unfortunately – the flu. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and Dillons are partnering to offer Kansans – age 6 and older – protection from the flu, regardless of their ability to pay. Beginning Nov. 5 and through Nov. 13, Blue Cross is sponsoring no-cost flu shots at 57 Dillons pharmacies in 27 different communities, stretching from Colby to Leavenworth and Manhattan to Arkansas City.
This is the second year that Blue Cross and Dillons have partnered on the Happy Healthy Holidays campaign. In 2015, more than 8,200 Kansas took advantage of the program and entered the holiday season with the protection of a no-cost flu shot.
"We were pleased that so many Kansans took advantage of the program in 2015, and hope to attract hundreds more people this year," said Andrew C. Corbin, BCBSKS president/CEO. "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is committed to improving the health of all Kansans, a commitment that is shared by our friends at Dillons. This is a great opportunity for those with or without insurance to get the protection of a no-cost flu shot before gathering with family and friends for the holidays."
According to data gathered by the National Immunization Survey-Flu and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and analyzed by the CDC, 38.3 percent of Kansans ages six months and older had received a flu shot through November 2015. The age groups with the highest rates were adults age 65 and older with 54.9 percent and children ages six months to 17 years at 49.2 percent. Adults ages 50 to 64 were in the middle with 38.0 percent; adults between the ages of 18 and 49 had the lowest percent – 31.7 percent – although showed an improvement over the 2014 rate of 29.5 percent.
"This continued partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is a wonderful way to promote the health and wellness of Kansans during the holiday season as they gather with family and friends," said Dean Benton, RPh, clinical care coordinator for Dillons.
"Traveling across country or even the state can unknowingly create multiple exposures to viruses and illnesses, which increase the probability that viruses will transfer from community to community and person to person," Benton said. "While you may be strong and healthy, you can unintentionally spread illnesses to your loved. Your holiday visit with grandparents or newborn infants in your family could create a risk of illness, since these age groups have a weaker immune system increasing their susceptibility to the flu.
"That’s why flu vaccinations are so important to the overall health of our families and communities," he said. "By getting a flu shot you can share a happy, healthy holiday with your family."
Benton noted that the vaccine typically requires 14 days to create the immune response in your body, so the timing to offer no-cost flu shots prior to the holidays is quite appropriate.
During the Happy Healthy Holidays campaign, Blue Cross will pick up the entire cost of the trivalent (three-strain) flu shot for those without insurance or pay a person's copay or coinsurance amount if they have insurance coverage – no matter which insurance carrier the person has coverage through.
Kansans will find it simple to get a flu shot at no cost. All one has to do is:
Communities with at least one Dillons Pharmacy include: Andover, Arkansas City, Augusta, Colby, Derby, Dodge City, El Dorado, Garden City, Goddard, Great Bend, Hays, Hutchinson, Junction City, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Liberal, Maize, Manhattan, McPherson, Newton, Pittsburg, Pratt, Salina, Topeka, Wellington, Wichita and Winfield.
For more information or to locate a nearby Dillons Pharmacy and its hours of operations, visit bcbsks.com/flushot.
For nearly 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit bcbsks.com.
Dillon Stores, headquartered in Hutchinson, KS, is a division of The Kroger Company, one of the nation’s largest retail grocery chains. Dillon Stores operates 81 stores in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska and employs more than 12,500 associates. Dillon Stores focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, local schools, and grassroots organizations in the communities it serves. For more information on Dillon Stores, please visit our website at dillons.com.
- Back -