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Pharmacies Gearing Up For Flu Vaccine Season

By Bradley Freeman – May 27, 2020 at 12:10PM

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How National Chains are Reacting to Vaccination Interest

Coronavirus has made good news few and far between. In the midst of so much global anxiety, it's nice to reflect on the silver linings culminating from this catastrophe.

To me, that glimmer of positive news is people taking better care of themselves going forward. With public wellbeing at the center of nearly every story today, it's no wonder why people are more interested in health.

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Growing Vaccine Interest

News broke this week about pharmacy chains gearing up for a heavy flu season. For context, Rite Aid (RAD -0.89%) is planning on ordering 40% more doses than normal seasons require to meet demand. Typically, under half of America gets inoculated each flu season, this year that number is expected to pass 60% according to Reuters polling. More evidence of growing interest: a national survey depicting "strong vaccination interest" rising from 34% to 65%. 

The Implications

For profit minded investors looking to quantify that impact, each incremental percent of the population vaccinated means 75 million more in revenue for the vaccine industry. For those contemplating the public health effects, consider the second wave of Coronavirus feared this winter.

A new outbreak will make keeping hospitals empty of flu patients even more vital than it normally is to relieve capacity pressure. The first wave did not coincide with flu season, this one might. This is why growing motivation to get vaccinated is such an encouraging silver lining.

A New Role For Pharmacy Chains

CVS (CVS 0.35%) , Walgreens (WBA 0.22%), and Rite Aid always play an integral role in ensuring preparedness for flu season each year; the coronavirus amplifies the importance of that role. Why? CVS research portrayed consumers as more likely to pick a pharmacy over a doctor for routine visits going forward out of fear of virus exposure. 

In this light, pharmacies are last line of defense in keeping our public safe. This unfortunate reality could leave some less likely to get vaccinated making pharmacies that much more important to fill the void. The good news is, pharmacies are already prepping for rising flu inoculation demand.

Bradley Freeman owns shares of CVS Health. The Motley Fool recommends CVS Health. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

CVS Health Corporation Stock Quote
CVS Health Corporation
CVS
$97.32 (0.35%) $0.34
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Stock Quote
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
WBA
$31.62 (0.22%) $0.07
Rite Aid Corporation Stock Quote
Rite Aid Corporation
RAD
$5.01 (-0.89%) $0.04

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