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GAITHERSBURG, Md. - MedImmune Inc. has announced that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has decided not to establish a large-scale, national flu vaccination program this season and, therefore, will not be offering FluMist (Influenza Virus Vaccine Live, Intranasal) in its pharmacies this year. Previously, Wal-Mart had intended to offer FluMist to its customers this flu season in select pharmacies after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine in June.
Wal-Mart said it "continues to evaluate" whether to sell FluMist in future years, according to a Reuters report. "As we got closer to the start of the program we started receiving a number of questions about the implementation process for this product," said Danette Thompson, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. "Among the questions were those raised by several state pharmacy boards concerning the legal ability of our pharmacists to administer the product and the level of training that should be required for the pharmacist to administer the product."
FluMist is currently available at more than 14,000 outlets throughout the U.S., including other retail pharmacies and physicians' offices, as well as hospitals and employers, according to MedImmune's senior VP of sales and marketing, Armando Anido.
"While we are disappointed with the loss of Wal-Mart from our retail channel for this season, we appreciate the commitment, excitement and effort they put forth in trying to bring FluMist to their customers this year. For a company that has never offered a national flu vaccination program before, the compression of time this year became a critical roadblock. That being said, we look forward to continuing to work with their team to create an outstanding FluMist program at Wal-Mart stores in the future," Anido said.