In the wake of reports about a zoster vaccine shortage, Supervalu Inc. has assured customers that shingles vaccinations remain available at its pharmacies.


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Retail News Breaks Archives

Supervalu: Shingles vaccine is available

February 10th, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS – In the wake of reports about a zoster vaccine shortage, Supervalu Inc. has assured customers that shingles vaccinations remain available at its pharmacies.

The food and drug retailer said Wednesday that it continues to offer shingles immunizations at select in-store pharmacies under the company's various supermarket banners, including 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," Anthony Provenzano, pharmacy director of clinical programs at Supervalu, said in a statement. "By getting the shingles vaccine from one of our specially trained and certified immunizing pharmacists, adults can reduce their chances of developing shingles or lessen the severity of pain and complications resulting from the illness."

Overall, Supervalu operates more than 800 pharmacies in its 1,100-plus traditional retail stores.

Zostavax, the shingles vaccine, is made by Merck. A recent flurry of published reports said the vaccination is in short supply, roughly a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that most people age 60 and older get immunized for shingles.

A Merck spokeswoman said the company may not be able to fill many orders for Zostavax until April, according to media reports.

The CDC reported that in a clinical trial involving thousands of people 60 years of age or older, Zostavax reduced the risk of shingles by 51%. Almost one in three Americans will develop shingles, the CDC said.

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, localized skin rash — often with blisters — that's caused by varicella zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles most commonly occurs in people age 50 and older, people with medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, and people who receive immunosuppressive drugs, according to the CDC.

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