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Wal-Mart Drops Nasal-spay Vaccine Program

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BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct 20, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Wal-Mart has dropped plans to offer the a nasal-spray flu vaccine because of uncertainty over whether pharmacists can legally administer it in some states.

There are also questions concerning how much training pharmacists need to administer the first nasal-spray vaccine, the Wall Street Journal reported.

While pharmacists are permitted to administer medication, including injection in 37 states it isn't clear in some states whether a pharmacist can administer nasal-spray medications, according to Susan Winckler, spokeswoman for the American Pharmacists Association in Washington.

In addition, different states have different training and continuing-education requirements for pharmacists participating in immunization programs.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailing giant had planned to offer FluMist in 1,000 of its 3,000 U.S. stores nationwide.

FluMist isn't recommended for people over 50 or children under 5, is about three times as expensive as the injected vaccine and must be kept frozen, the Journal said.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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