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Safeway Inc. yesterday said it began offering vaccinations against shingles on a walk-in basis at more than 700 pharmacies in its markets.
"The only way to prevent against contracting this debilitating disease is to get a single shot," said Dave Fong, Safeway s.v.p., pharmacy. "By administering vaccines on site, Safeway is making it easy for anyone to protect themselves."
The Pleasanton, Calif.-based retailer's participating stores are in Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
Shingles is a disease caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, and any person who has ever had chickenpox is at risk for shingles, according to Safeway. Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends shingles vaccination for all people over the age of 60.
Safeway also offers full-service adult and adolescent immunization services for the prevention of ailments including tetanus, hepatitis, pneumococcal, and meningococcal.
Safeway operates 1,743 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $42 billion in 2007.