Drugstores Offer Flu Shots Early


CVS and Walgreens drugstores will begin offering flu shots tomorrow, about three to four weeks ahead of the usual start to flu shot season.

In separate announcements Monday, the companies gave details on how customers can obtain the first of three flu shots expected this season. The other two shots, which are expected to be released in mid-October, will be targeted at the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu.

CVS (Stock Quote: CVS) will be administering the vaccine for the seasonal flu without an appointment at more than 500 MinuteClinic locations inside CVS stores. Adults and children older than 18 months are eligible to receive the vaccine, but age restrictions vary based on location. To find out what stores are participating near you, go to the CVS Web site. There will also be flu shot clinic events at more than 9,000 CVS stores beginning Sept. 15; the company said a schedule will be available soon on its Web site.

Walgreens (Stock Quote: WAG) will have immunizing pharmacists or nurse practitioners at all clinics and Walgreens pharmacies Sept. 8 through Sept. 30 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The flu shots will be available on an appointment or walk-in basis and will cost $24.99. Shots will be available outside those hours depending on availability. To find a location offering the flu shot near you, go to the Walgreens Web site.

Both Walgreens and CVS have fronted funds to cover the costs of flu shots for uninsured or unemployed customers. Walgreens is giving away $1 million worth of flu shots to uninsured adults. The vouchers for free shots can be obtained by visiting a Wellness Tour bus location, and are available on a first-come, first served basis. Click here to find out the locations Wellness Tour buses will be visiting.

CVS will also be giving away vouchers for 100,000 free seasonal flu shots to unemployed people this fall at MinuteClinics and pharmacies. The shots will be administered at the company's One-Stop Career Centers, sponsored by the Labor Department.

(Check out MainStreet’s complete swine flu anthology here.)

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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