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CVS to offer GSK's new shingles vaccine at stores nationwide

  • CVS Health is now offering GlaxoSmithKline's shingles vaccine, Shingrix, at stores nationwide.
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance said last week that Shingrix was available at most of its Walgreens and Duane Reade stores. Starting Thursday, it also became available at Walgreens Healthcare Clinics.
  • The CDC says Shingrix is preferred over Merck's Zostavax.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

CVS Health is now offering GlaxoSmithKline's new shingles vaccine at its pharmacies nationwide as Shingrix continues to gain momentum.

Shingrix is available at all of CVS' more than 9,800 locations, the drugstore chain said Friday. The rollout comes about a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Shingrix on its annual list of vaccination recommendations and nearly five months since the Food and Drug Administration approved it.

Walgreens Boots Alliance said last week that Shingrix was available at most of its Walgreens and Duane Reade stores. Starting Thursday, it also became available at Walgreens Healthcare Clinics.

"Vaccination is key to preventing shingles and CVS Pharmacy is pleased to be able to provide patients with convenient access to this new and more effective vaccine," Kevin Hourican, CVS Pharmacy's executive vice president of pharmacy services, said in a statement.

The CDC recommends healthy adults 50 and older get two doses of Shingrix, two to six months apart. The agency says Shingrix is preferred over Merck's Zostavax, which is recommended for people over 60 years old and has been used since 2006.

Once someone contracts chickenpox, the virus that causes it, herpes zoster, lives inside nerve tissue and can re-emerge as shingles later in life. Almost 1 of every 3 people in the U.S. will develop shingles in their lifetime, according to the CDC. It estimates there are 1 million cases of shingles in the U.S. every year.

Shares of GSK climbed 0.6 percent, while shares of Merck rose 0.2 percent in morning trade.