On the Money Flu Shots (copy)

Acadiana’s public health officials are making a push to get all children vaccinated before the much-anticipated return to school.

The owner of the Super 1 Food Stores in Acadiana says its pharmacies will offer COVID-19 vaccination at no cost to the patient once it gets approval and is available for distribution.

Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Co. says it has joined the federal government’s “Operation Warp Speed” effort and will administer a vaccine to the public at no cost as part of its effort to serve its communities, company officials said in an announcement Monday. The company is one of several independent retailers across the country participating in the effort.

“Our company is committed to supporting our communities and providing for our customers’ daily and essential needs,” said Brad Brookshire, Chairman and CEO for Brookshire Grocery Co. “We are proud to participate in the plan to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines to best serve our communities. Our pharmacy team is actively enrolling with each state in order to be ready to safely administer vaccines when available. We care about our neighbors and are committed to doing what we can to lessen the impact of COVID-19.”

The federal program is partnering with large chain pharmacies and networks of independent pharmacies to distribute the vaccine once one is available. About 60% of the pharmacies in the country have signed on, federal officials said, representing 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Many pharmacy staffers are trained to provide immunizations and are already important immunizers in their communities, federal officials said. By working with these partners, the federal government will rapidly expand access to COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to patients.

“The vast majority of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy,” HHS secretary Alex Azar said. “Our new agreement with pharmacy partners across America is a critical step toward making sure all Americans have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are available.”

Super 1 Foods has 13 stores in Acadiana, including two stores in Lafayette and one in Carencro, Scott and Youngsville. 

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Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.