* Flu-shot clinics to offer vaccines through Oct. 22
* Company cites manufacturer delays
* MinuteClinics will continue to administer shots
CVS Caremark Corp (CVS) said on Thursday its seasonal flu-shot clinics will run through Oct. 22, less than three weeks after the official start of the influenza season, due to manufacturer delays in delivering flu vaccine.
The drugstore chain said its MinuteClinics will continue to offer seasonal flu vaccines at its 500 locations in 25 states throughout the flu season with the supply of vaccines replenished as frequently as possible.
Drugstores have been promoting themselves as destinations for flu shots. The campaigns revolve around the seasonal flu, although drugstores also hope to administer vaccinations for H1N1 flu, or swine flu, once they become more widely available.
CVS, with more than 7,000 CVS and Longs Drugs stores, said consumers are getting flu shots at its pharmacies and MinuteClinics at rates far above last year and even above CVS expectations.
A CVS spokesman was not immediately available to expand on how the vaccine delays had affected their plans.
Drugstore chains began offering in-store flu shots in earnest in early September, well ahead of the official start of influenza season on Oct. 4, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Analysts had predicted CVS could see an earnings gain of up to 14 cents a share due consumer fears about a swine flu pandemic and a heightened cold season. (Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)