DEERFIELD, Ill., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ - Walgreens (NYSE: WAG), which has conducted a national flu shot program at its stores longer than any other drugstore chain, is going one step further this year by offering both flu and pneumonia shots for those hoping to avoid the illnesses that flu season brings. With help from qualified healthcare professionals, Walgreens will offer a flu shot program at more than 2,400 individual stores nationwide (except Louisiana and New Mexico) on one day from Oct. 5 through Nov. 6. Selected locations also will offer pneumonia shots during the same period. Those interested in receiving a vaccination should call toll-free 1-800-FLU-9950 for the program's date and time at the nearest Walgreens. No appointment is necessary. "Pneumonia causes 40,000 deaths each year in the United States, more than any other vaccine-preventable bacterial disease," said Don Johnson, Walgreens Health Services manager. "Men and women age 65 and over should consider getting a pneumonia vaccination this year. And all adults should consider having a flu shot. Walgreens makes it easy and convenient by offering both." Each pneumonia shot is $25, while the flu shot will cost between $8 and $10. Both vaccines are available at no charge for Medicare Part B patients if they're not members of an HMO and they present their Medicare card when they receive the shot. Anyone receiving a flu and/or pneumonia shot also will get a coupon book with $25 in savings at Walgreens. "We've had great success each of the last four years we've offered this program, the largest of any retailer," said Johnson. "The flu shot will last six months and take two weeks to become effective. Because the flu virus usually is slightly different each year, flu shots are effective only one season. If you received a flu vaccine last year, you'll need another shot this year. The elderly and those with chronic diseases are especially advised to receive a vaccination." The flu vaccination offered through Walgreens will immunize against three flu strains: A Sydney, B Harbin and A Beijing. Among those who shouldn't be vaccinated in Walgreens program are children, pregnant women, people allergic to eggs or chicken, people who've received another vaccination in the past two weeks and people with active illnesses. Walgreen Co. is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 1998 sales of $15.3 billion. The company operates 2,549 stores in 35 states and Puerto Rico.