The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Christmas in july? no, its just flu shots.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 4:34 pm on Monday, August 15, 2011

Each and every year, the quest to beat the advertising brains out of our competitors becomes more and more fierce. To the Chick, its like walking into my nearest Hallmark card shop in July and seeing nothing but a sea of RED Christmas ornaments everywhere.  God help me, I just wanna run.  Im in shorts, its 97 degrees out side…Im thinking “sippin cool beverages on the patio” and they want me to start thinking about CHRISTMAS?..snow, cold weather and going broke?  NO THANK YOU.

Well the argument could be said that Pharmacy is the same.  Everybody is in the flu shot business now.  Chick Pharmacy was a early trail blazer and when some stores where passing on the program,  Chick Pharmacy stepped up and shot everybody who would pull up their sleeve.  Once they got $ signs in their eyes, even the big box passed on nurses doling out flu shots in their lobby and started the “ka-ching” themselves.

Traditionally we did flu shots in October.  Football gets going…we put the summer clothes away…Baseball World Series…Mow that grass one more time before it snows…and FLU SHOTS.  It has sneakily inched earlier and earlier.  Corporate used to send out a memo…” be sure you re  properly stocked on gloves and etc…yada yada..and that was about it.  Now I get a 200 page “game plan” for this year’s flu” initiative”.   Sounds very political.

SHUT UP PLEASE…there is NOTHING that some guy in a suit 1000 miles away in a wood panelled office can tell me that I dont already know about flu shots. I am not going to read his 200 page game plan.  I will order my supplies…I’ll wait for the vaccine to arrive…and then I’ll start shooting people. 

What I really do not need is a corporate ad campaign that is telling everybody to get their flu shot right now….BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE VACCINE…Hello?  it’s not here yet…why are you telling people we have it?..Big box got theirs last week….thats why.  Well fine…I dont have it and running an ad telling people that we DO isnt’ going to make any vaccine appear out of thin air..

What I do not need is a tome of paperwork to read that is early identical to the tome of paperwork I had to read last year.  Its a flu shot…not brain surgery. I got it ok?  and on that same Vein, if you really want me to have it, SEND it to me in hard copy…I am not going to print that 200 page attachment and tie up my printer for an hour.

I dont need to be bombarded with “get ready for flu season” stuff a mere 60 days after THIS flu season has concluded.  Give it a rest ok?

I do not need to be REMINDED to contact all of my clinic sites from last year.  I especially do not need to call them 4 months ahead of time.

I do not need more junk to hand out with each and every shot..this coupon book, that hand out, this sticker, that pin.

Here is what I DO need: 

I need you to get those contracts signed before october so when you run your ads in August to get a flu shot, I can actually give and bill it instead of getting rejt claims over and over.

I need you to get that vaccine to me so I can actually give shots that you promise I have.

I need you to realize that its still summer, and your “quota guidelines” will likely be ignored like yesterdays news paper.

Lastly I need you to be realistic.  People think flu shots when school starts.  They quit thinking flu shots the very day after Thanksgiving.  Its some kind of unwritten rule.

Dont make me come over there and bap you on the nose with your rolled up game plan.


Comment by Stacy

August 16, 2011 @ 8:31 am

AMEN! I teach injection technique to pharmacy students and every year, they come to me and want to know why the big box pharmacies are pushing flu shots in AUGUST. In my area of the country, our flu season starts in October – so as long as we start administering sometime in September it is fine. SIGH.

Comment by PharmGamerKid

August 16, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

I work at an immunization store at a big box pharmacy so we got our shipment AT THE END OF JULY. So now, when we answer the phone we have to say “Thank you for calling big box pharmacy where we now offer flu and whooping cough shots daily.” Good thing kids won’t be getting whooping cough shots now that school has started.

Comment by Mare

August 17, 2011 @ 11:46 am

Amen. Where I work they had us start calling local businesses in APRIL asking if they wanted flu shots from us this year. If our store doesn’t reach a certain number of flu shots, then we will get a bad evaluation on our next appraisal. The contracts aren’t even worked out yet with most of the insurance companies that our local population has. So many headaches…

Comment by Nathan

August 17, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

I have been seeing signs for flu shots everywhere and it is annoying. Mob mentality…EVERYONE IS SELLING IT, I MUST HAVE IT!!!

Comment by Debbie

August 20, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

To say nothing about the fact that getting a flu shot in August tends to just make the immunity wane by January…when flu really starts in our part of the world!

Comment by Kat

August 24, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

I thought I was on top of my game getting my flu shot in late Sept/early Oct. Of course my allergist/asthma specialist just sent out an email via the patient portal letting us all know that flu shots are available there now!!! What the heck?!?! I’m gonna hold off for the moment thanks though!

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