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Walgreens announces plans for nationwide H1N1 distribution


DEERFIELD, Ill. One of the nation's largest drug store chains will roll out its inoculation efforts to all 50 states by the end of December.

Walgreens announced Wednesday that it already offers the H1N1 vaccine at more than 1,500 Walgreens pharmacies and select Take Care Clinics in 27 states, as well as the District of Columbia. Walgreens and Take Care Clinics had been administering H1N1 vaccine in select markets to only those within the priority groups as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but as more states, public health departments and local governments now are lifting vaccination restrictions, Walgreens is able to offer H1N1 vaccine to anyone who wants a vaccination and who meets state age requirements, in 27 states.

Walgreens said it continues to work with government agencies in the 23 other U.S. states to receive and distribute H1N1 vaccine, and to serve as a strategic distribution partner in communities nationwide.

Walgreens said it will be offering H1N1 vaccine at select locations in the following additional states by Monday, Dec. 21:  Alabama, California, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin. Details regarding H1N1 vaccine arrival in other states will be announced as it becomes available.

“The upcoming holidays, with family gatherings and many people traveling, is always a time we stress the importance of a flu shot, and particularly this year with H1N1,” said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson.  “Now that H1N1 vaccine is more widely available to anyone who wants to get the shot in many states, Walgreens can be counted on to provide convenient, affordable access to H1N1 vaccine as well as other health and wellness resources in thousands of communities nationwide.”

The cost for the administration of an H1N1 vaccination is $18. Additionally, Walgreens also offers pneumococcal vaccinations in most states, which has been cited as been identified as the most common complication in severe and fatal cases of 2009 H1N1 virus infection, according to the CDC. The cost for the pneumococcal vaccination is $49.99.

“Our pharmacists, together with Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals have been fully-dedicated to the flu prevention effort since September,” Wasson said. “We’re still early in the flu season and a majority of the population isn’t protected against H1N1.  Walgreens is proud to be a government partner for H1N1 and to be playing an important role in helping individuals and families stay well and protected against H1N1.”

Vaccinations offered by Walgreens and Take Care Clinics may be covered by insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid. Consumers are encouraged to check with their insurance provider for coverage details.

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