DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Walgreens will begin its annual nationwide in-store flu and pneumonia vaccination program on Oct. 13. No appointment is necessary for vaccinations. For details on when vaccines will be available at a specific store, call 1-800-FLU-9950 or look for information at www.walgreens.com .
Walgreens and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend those at high risk of complication from influenza get their flu shots as early as possible. High-risk people are those age 65 and older, those with respiratory diseases or chronic diseases including diabetes, HIV infection and severe anemia, and those receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Children, pregnant women, people allergic to eggs or chicken, people who've received another vaccination in the past two weeks and people with active illness should contact a physician to be vaccinated.
"The flu shot will last six months and take two weeks to become effective," said Jim Ash, health services manager for Walgreens. "Because the flu virus usually is slightly different each year, flu shots are effective for only one season. If you received a flu vaccine last year, you will need another shot this year."
The cost of a flu vaccination is $20; a pneumonia shot is $25. Both vaccines are available at no charge for Medicare Part B patients if they're not members of an HMO and they present their Medicare card at the time of the shot. Unlike past years, no shortage of flu vaccine is expected this year.
Source: Walgreen Co.