Walgreen Co. this week plans to start providing shots for the H1N1 "swine flu" virus at stores in the Salt Lake City area.

Walgreens, H1N1 shots, H1N1 vaccines, swine flu, Salt Lake City, vaccinations, immunizations, seasonal flu shots, pharmacies, drug store, pharmacists, Rob Hasty, Russell Redman

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Walgreens to start offering H1N1 vaccines this week

November 4th, 2009

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. this week plans to start providing shots for the H1N1 "swine flu" virus at stores in the Salt Lake City area.

The drug store chain said that it will begin offering H1N1 injectable vaccines at 18 pharmacies throughout Salt Lake County on Thursday. The company said it's working closely with public health officials and the Salt Lake Valley Health Department to serve as a distribution partner for the vaccine, as well as a community resource for information on H1N1 immunization.

Besides Salt Lake City, Walgreens stores in Utah providing the H1N1 shots are in the communities of West Jordan, South Jordan, West Valley, Taylorsville, Sandy, Cottonwood Heights, Herriman, Draper, Riverton, Midvale and Holladay.

Walgreens said it also may offer H1N1 vaccinations at other Salt Lake City-area stores as additional supply becomes available.

The H1N1 shots cost $18 and will be available to residents who fall within the priority groups outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): pregnant women, household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months, health care and emergency medical services personnel, people 6 months to 24 years old, people ages 25 to 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

Vaccinations will be offered to those groups between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last, according to Walgreens. The chain's pharmacists in Utah are able to provide immunizations to those ages 13 and older.

According to the CDC, children under 10 years of age will require two shots for protection against the H1N1 flu, while all other people will need only one. Citing recent CDC reports, Walgreens said that about 90% of the circulating flu in the United States is H1N1.

Walgreens noted that this year it had a record turnout for seasonal flu shots, administering 5 million vaccines —  more than four times the amount administered last year.

"This flu season, Walgreens has truly demonstrated its role as a go-to, trusted resource for flu prevention and health care services in Utah and nationwide," Rob Hasty, Utah market vice president for Walgreens, said in a statement. "We're here to help. And we're proud to partner with the Salt Lake Valley Health Department by providing convenient, affordable access to H1N1 vaccinations, furthering our commitment to helping individuals and their families stay well this flu season."

Walgreens said it has more than 17,000 certified or licensed immunizers — including pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants — and that its retail flu prevention network covers over 7,000 pharmacies and more than 350 Take Care clinics.

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