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We're excited to announce that residents will have an additional option to vaccinate themselves and their families in the coming days.

The federal government has announced that large chain pharmacies will soon be able to begin offering H1N1 vaccine to all residents. Currently, the national chains which are participating are CVS, Publix, Rite Aid, Supervalu, Target, and Walgreens. This list may grow as other large pharmacy chains express interest in participating.

By working with these additional partners, we hope to increase the overall availability of vaccine in the state, especially since these pharmacies will be open throughout the holiday season and serving large numbers of customers.

It's important to note that these additional doses do not come from vaccine quantities allocated to Massachusetts by the CDC. We continue to receive ever-larger amounts of our allotted vaccine which are going out to clinicians, hospitals, and local health departments for use at large scale flu clinics. Those public clinics will continue to be planned to begin in January.

As these chain pharmacies begin to receive H1N1 vaccine at their individual store locations, these sites will be listed at www.mass.gov/flu, by clicking on "Find A Flu Clinic".

For additional information, you can read a letter from DPH Commissioner John Auerbach to local public health departments about this federal partnership with chain pharmacies to distribute H1N1 vaccine.

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health communication writer and editor

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