Walgreens resumes immunization services ahead of flu season

FILE PHOTO: A Walgreens pharmacy store is seen in Austin, TX, U.S., March 26, 2018. Picture taken on March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed

(Reuters) - Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said on Monday it has resumed vaccination services at its pharmacies ahead of the upcoming flu season, which health officials have warned may coincide with a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

The move follows recently updated guidelines here from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S drugstore chain said.

Walgreens said it was implementing safety measures, including the use of disposable facemasks at all times by its pharmacy staff, in line with the guidance.

Rivals such as CVS Health Corp and Rite Aid Corp have also said they were preparing to meet a surge in demand for flu shots when the season kicks off in October.

Routine immunizations are even more important in the current COVID-19 environment to help reduce the overall burden of respiratory illnesses on the healthcare system, Walgreens said.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sriraj Kalluvila