Rite Aid drug stores have recently decided to offer flu shots to pregnant women without a prescription. Up to this point the chain has required prescriptions despite the announcements that pregnant women are a part of the priority group for seasonal and H1N1 flu shots.
Although doctors recommend the shots, pregnant women traditionally have low vaccination rates because pharmacy vaccination programs tend to be hesitant to offer them. Since obstetricians do not vaccinate, requiring the prescription served only to make the process more difficult.
Following the urging of public health officials, Rite Aid has announced the policy change for both of this year’s flu shots. Other major drug stores that offer vaccinations do not require pregnant women to show prescriptions. Officials hope that the change will encourage more pregnant women to get the shots. The traditional flu and H1N1 are especially dangerous for pregnant women who can suffer significant complications and potentially risk the loss of the pregnancy.