Smith’s Food & Drug recently hosted a flu shot drive-thru community event, as part of the Healthy In Utah initiative, in the parking lot of Maverik Center. The grocery store chain partnered with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development on this initiative to encourage all Utahns to get a flu shot.

The drive-thru clinic offered a convenient option for high-risk individuals who may choose not to get their vaccine inside a Smith’s store. In addition to the drive-thru event, most every Friday until the end of the year, Smith’s, in partnership with Healthy In Utah, will host Flu Shot Fridays at a different Smith’s store across the state. All Smith’s pharmacies offer flu shots any day of the week.

“With so many health facilities already overburdened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for all Americans to get a flu shot,” said Jaime Montuoro, Smith’s Pharmacy director. “By using drive-thru sites for the flu shots, we hope to provide more customers with a safe, convenient option to get vaccinated.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that during an average flu season, 8% of the U.S. population gets sick from the flu, with an average of 500,000 flu-related hospitalizations. Since March, more than 370,000 Americans have already been hospitalized due to COVID-19.

It’s important that the majority of Utahns receive the flu shot this year to prevent overwhelming our healthcare providers,” said Val Hale, GOED’s executive director. “We know that to maintain a strong economy; we need healthy citizens. While we fight the pandemic, let’s address an old foe in the flu, and one for which we already have a vaccine.” 

“It will be very difficult for people to determine the difference between flu symptoms and COVID-19,” added Montuoro. “That’s why it’s so important for Utahns to get a flu shot this year. It not only has been proven to help protect against the flu but may also help reduce misidentification as COVID-19.”