Prepare your Portfolio for Flu Season

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FILE PHOTO: A Rite Aid store is shown in Los Angeles, California

Flu season is never fun — especially if you catch the flu.

So far, this year, according to CNBC, “It’s been more than a decade – since the H1N1 swine flu pandemic – since flu hospitalization rates have been this high at this point in the season. The CDC estimates that there have been at least 880,000 illnesses, nearly 7,000 hospitalizations and 360 deaths from flu in the US this season. The first pediatric death in the country was reported this week.”

About 128 million doses of flu vaccine have been distributed this season, compared with 140 million at this point last year and 156 million the year before that, according to the CDC. For further proof of this year’s severity, here’s a recent video from Today.

Here are three ways to potentially trade the flu.

Clorox Co. (CLX)

Since early October, shares of CLX have run from about $125 to $148.14.  From here, the stock could test higher highs, if flu season gets worse.  According to MarketingDive.com, “Recent consumer research by the brand found that 82% of Americans believe cleanliness is required for a clear head and 68% believe it’s needed for a fresh outlook.”  Plus, analysts are now warning of a “twindemic,” with influenza, RSV, and COVID-19.

Rite Aid (RAD)

Rite Aid could rally on flu season, as well. While the RAD stock slipped on a weak flu season in 2021, it could be a different story, and severity this year.  If that’s the case, RAD could rally with vaccine demand.  According to Today.com, “There are already reports that demand for flu antiviral medications is surging, and some pharmacies in hot spot states are scrambling to fill the higher-than-usual number of prescriptions for this early in the season.”  That demand should be a strong catalyst for the Rite Aid stock.

CVS Health (CVS)

CVS is also one of the pharmacies reporting a shortage of amoxicillin.  According to NBC News,Pharmacists said they are worried if the shortage lingers through the winter, when infections can surge and antibiotic use typically increases.