A month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that most Americans over age 60 get vaccinated to prevent shingles, the vaccine was in short supply.


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Drug chains ready with shingles vaccine

February 28th, 2011

NEW YORK – A month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that most Americans over age 60 get vaccinated to prevent shingles, the vaccine was in short supply.

Still, some chain drug retailers have reported that they have ample doses for patients wanting the onetime vaccine — Merck & Co.’s Zostavax.

Walgreen Co., for instance, recently said it was expanding the availability of the drug to more than 2,000 Walgreens stores and Take Care Clinics.

“Our pharmacists, Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners and other health care professionals have been instrumental in creating a growing awareness of the benefits of the shingles vaccine, and in educating the public on why it’s particularly important for those over 60,” states Kermit Crawford, Walgreens’ president of pharmacy services. “Walgreens’ network of more than 26,000 certified immunizers has demonstrated our unique capabilities to provide a wide range of CDC-recommended vaccinations when it’s most convenient for our patients.”

Rite Aid reported that patients can get the vaccine in 1,900 of its stores across 27 states. The drug chain also said that it holds periodic clinics for shingles vaccinations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and West Virginia.

Earlier, food and drug retailer Supervalu Inc. announced that it was continuing to offer shingles immunizations at select in-store pharmacies under its roster of supermarket banners, which include Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s/Star Market, Shop ’n Save and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.

“Despite the current reports about a shortage of the vaccinations, Supervalu pharmacies currently have an ample supply of the shingles vaccines,” states Anthony Provenzano, pharmacy director of clinical programs at Supervalu.

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