Contact: Lori Willis
Director of Communications
Oct. 12, 2004
Schnucks Pharmacy to Suspend Flu Shot Clinics After Oct. 16
ST. LOUIS - Schnucks Pharmacy and flu vaccine provider Maxim Healthcare Services today announced that all flu shot clinics scheduled through Saturday, Oct.16 will proceed as scheduled; however, all clinics scheduled for Oct. 17 and beyond have been cancelled.
Darrell Naeger, account executive for Maxim, one of the nation's largest providers of vaccines, says tremendous responses at Schnucks pharmacies this past weekend nearly depleted the supply on hand. "Our nurses vaccinated approximately 1,651 (236 per clinic average) people in St. Louis area Schnucks stores. That's about double what we have seen in the past." Naeger says Schnucks handled the overflow of patients when other clinics closed. "However, remaining supplies are now very limited," he said.
According to Curtis Hartin, Schnucks director of pharmacy, Schnucks associates have fielded hundreds of calls over the past few days and are trying hard to manage public expectations, "This weekend, we will have approximately 300 flu shots available for each Schnucks pharmacy clinic. Vaccines will be administered on a first-come, first served basis. Line numbers will be issued only to those patients determined to be high risk." (Individuals must be present when their number is called. No stand ins please)
Hartin added, "We are pleased to offer the shots as a service to our customers. However, it's important that all healthcare providers understand that we are holding the clinics as a public service. We are going to do our best to serve all those who need the shot, but we are not supplied nor equipped to handle bus loads of patients."
The run on flu shots was triggered by news that Chiron, a leading manufacturer and source of approximately half the doses of vaccines used in the United States, suspended production of Fluviron due to quality control issues in its Liverpool plant. Despite the projected shortfall, Naeger says that there still will be an estimated 50 million shots available in the United States. "That's enough to meet the most critical needs. In time, all members of the high risk public should be able to get a flu shot this season," he said.
In the meantime, Hartin advises, "If you are unable to get a flu shot at Schnucks this weekend consult your physician. There may be additional options open to you."
Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 101 stores and 94 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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