Rite Aid Corp. said its immunizing pharmacists at more than 2,100 stores can now vaccinate patients over the age of 50 against shingles.


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Rite Aid: More patients can now get shingles vaccines

March 29th, 2011

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Rite Aid Corp. said its immunizing pharmacists at more than 2,100 stores can now vaccinate patients over the age of 50 against shingles.

The drug store chain said Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration late last week expanded the age eligibility for the shingles vaccine, Zostavax, previously was only approved for patients over age 60.

"The new FDA recommendation means that Rite Aid pharmacists can now help a much wider range of patients protect themselves from this painful nerve disease," Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid, said in a statement. "The vaccine can often be administered to walk-in patients, making it an easy decision to get vaccinated against shingles."

Rite Aid said patients wishing to get vaccinated against shingles can enter their ZIP code at www.riteaid.com/shingles to find the most convenient store location.

The FDA recommendation, expanding on its 2006 approval, was based on a study showing that patients in this age group had a 70% reduced chance of developing the painful nerve disease (herpes zoster) after receiving a single dose of the shingles vaccine Zostavax. The vaccine helps protect against flare-ups of the varicella-zoster virus, which typically causes chickenpox when patients are first exposed to it but can cause shingles later in life, leaving some victims bed-ridden with pain from the nerve disease for weeks, months or even years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shingles affects 1 million Americans adults annually and a third of the population over the course of a lifetime.

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