Contact: Lori Willis
Director of Communications
Oct. 7, 2004
Schnucks Pharmacy Launches Flu Clinics Despite Projected Vaccine Shortages
ST. LOUIS - Flu Shots at Schnucks Pharmacy clinics will proceed according to schedule despite news of projected shortages in flu vaccinations this season. The first clinics will be held at select Schnucks Pharmacies starting this weekend.
This news follows an earlier announcement that, Chiron, a leading manufacturer and source of approximately half the doses of vaccines used in the United States, suspended production of Fluviron. A recent batch of vaccines was pulled and earlier doses are being delayed due to quality control issues in its Liverpool plant. Chiron reports they have pinpointed the problem and are aggressively taking steps to correct it; however, they will not produce any vaccines for this flu season.
According to the representatives of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) other sources, making up the other 50 percent of the vaccines typically available, report that they are still producing to capacity. The CDC estimates that eventually, more than 100 million doses of flu vaccines will be provided to healthcare facilities across the nation.
"Our pharmacists and Maxim clinicians will vaccinate as many people as possible," said Hartin. "However, the shots must go to high risk individuals." (Please see criteria on next page) Hartin says this includes children over the age of 9 and suffering from health complications that could put them at risk."
Following guidelines issued by the CDC, Schnucks Pharmacy patients will be asked to complete a risk assessment form at the time of service (Forms are now available at all Schnucks Pharmacies). Those who, through a combination of factors, are determined to be high risk will receive the shot at a cost of $20.
Hartin says that although they are confident they will have a larger quantity on hand than was available last year, it is impossible to determine how long the total supply will last. "There is some concern that news of the impending shortage may cause a rush on the clinics," said Hartin. "We are asking our customers for their patience and understanding as we work to make sure that the high risk patients are protected this flu season."
Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 101 stores and 93 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Tennessee. The family-owned company was founded in St. Louis in 1939 and is currently listed 83rd in the Forbes Magazine listing of the nation's "Top 500 Private Companies."
For entire schedule, please visit http://schnucks.com/pharmacy/flushots.asp.
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