- People 60 and older can schedule an appointment this week through the Walgreens app, website, phone or by visiting their local pharmacy.
- This is the first RSV season in which older adults have the opportunity to be vaccinated against the virus.
- RSV kills 6,000 to 10,000 older adults and hospitalizes 60,000 to 160,000 each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Respiratory syncytial virus viral vaccine under research.
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Walgreens now offers respiratory syncytial virus vaccine to older adults nationwide, said the pharmacy chain on Tuesday.
People 60 and older can schedule an appointment this week through Walgreens’ app, websiteby phone or by visiting their local pharmacy.
This is the first RSV season in which older adults have the opportunity to be vaccinated against the virus. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first RSV vaccines, made by Pfizer and GSK, last spring.
Walgreens offers both Pfizer’s and GSK’s shots, which are administered as a single dose.
RSV begins to spread more widely in the fall. The virus kills 6,000 to 10,000 older adults and hospitalizes 60,000 to 160,000 each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has said that eligible adults should talk to their doctor about whether to receive the shot.
The RSV vaccines are now available in most states, and appointments will be added continuously over the next two weeks as more pharmacies receive the shots, according to Walgreens.
Walgreens’ pharmacies are not yet approved to administer RSV vaccines in DC, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York, although the company expects to add shots at those locations over time, a spokesman said.
People living in Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Utah will need a doctor’s prescription to receive the shots, the spokesman said.
CNBC has asked CVS if it will also have RSV vaccines available ahead of the fall.
Pfizer began directly shipping its RSV vaccine to customers last month and has sufficient inventory to meet demand, a company spokesman said. CNBC has reached out to GSK for comment.
Pfizer’s shot was 85.7% effective at preventing more severe lower respiratory tract disease during patients’ first RSV season after vaccination. The effectiveness of the shot dropped slightly to 78.6% around 18 months after vaccination.
GSK’s shot was 94% effective against severe RSV disease in the patient’s post-vaccination season. Shot efficiency dropped to about 78.8% after two RSV seasons.
— CNBC’s Annika Kim Constantino contributed to this story.