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Safeway updates availability of H1N1, seasonal flu shots

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PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway Inc. has made the H1N1 vaccine available through its pharmacies in 16 states and is offering seasonal flu immunizations in all of its stores.

The food and drug chain said Friday that the H1N1 vaccinations are being provided at most of its pharmacies in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming as well as the District of Columbia.

Seasonal flu vaccines are available in the pharmacy at all of Safeway’s 1,730 stores, according to the company.

"A number of factors make people more susceptible to seasonal flu and H1N1 flu during the holiday season," Dave Fong, senior vice president of pharmacy at Safeway, said in a statement. "Simply traveling to visit family could mean being in an enclosed airplane with airborne viruses. It is difficult to avoid potential exposure but easy to lessen your chances of becoming ill by getting vaccinated."

The immunizations are being given on a walk-in basis, with no appointment necessary.

Safeway said it is working with state and county public health departments to increase the access, availability and convenience of the H1N1 vaccines to people in high-risk groups, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company noted that in many states and counties restrictions have been lifted and anyone can now be vaccinated for the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.

The supermarket retailer got its flu shot program off to an early start this year, announcing on August 19 that it has begun offering seasonal flu vaccinations in its stores.


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