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CVS curtails flu shot clinics amid vaccine delays

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Because of supply issues, CVS Caremark Corp. plans to wind down its seasonal flu shot clinics in CVS pharmacies next week.

The chain drug retailer said Thursday that the flu shot clinics will run through October 22, in light of manufacturer delays in the delivery of seasonal flu vaccine, which the company noted is affecting other health care providers.

A CVS spokesman said the flu shot clinics traditionally run through the end of November.

MinuteClinic in-store health centers will continue to administer seasonal flu vaccines at their 500 locations in 25 states throughout the flu season, with the supply of vaccine replenished as frequently as possible, CVS added.

"We’re very pleased that so many of our customers have heeded the message to get a seasonal flu shot this year either at CVS/pharmacy or at MinuteClinic in rates far exceeding last year and even our own expectations for this flu season," Troy Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Caremark, said in a statement.

Brennan added that the next step for customers to protect themselves and their families this flu season will be to get the vaccine for the H1N1 "swine flu" virus. The vaccine is expected to become available starting this month.

CVS announced its seasonal flu shot program at the end of August. As of September 1, the company began offering seasonal flu shots on a walk-in basis through MinuteClinics, and beginning September 15 it kicked off plans to hold more than 9,000 flu shot clinics at select CVS/pharmacies nationwide.


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