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Walgreens kicks off flu season public awareness campaign
September 8th, 2009
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. has launched a campaign to promote public education about the flu and highlight the need to get immunized.
The drug store chain said its "Arm Yourself for the Ones You Love" public service and advertising campaign, which kicked off Tuesday and includes television spots, emphasizes that getting seasonal flu shots early on is the most effective way for consumers to guard against the flu as well as to protect those with whom they are in close contact every day.
In addition, the campaign spotlights Walgreens' seasonal flu shot availability from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through the end of September at its 7,000 points of care nationwide, including nearly all of its drug stores and about 350 in-store Take Care Clinics. Shots also are available outside those hours if an immunizing pharmacist or nurse practitioner is on duty, according to the chain.
Walgreens president and chief executive officer Greg Wasson is featured in the TV spots.
"Every year we stress the importance of seasonal flu shots," Wasson said in a statement about the campaign. "With greater awareness around this flu season, we've furthered our commitment to today's busy consumers by offering set flu shot hours and added flexibility seven days a week."
The retailer cited statistics showing that the annual direct medical costs of the flu — such as hospitalization, doctor office visits, medication, etc. — are estimated at $4.6 billion in the United States. Also, more than 110 million workdays are lost because of the flu, costing businesses more than $7 billion annually in sick days and lost productivity.
Walgreens announced an extensive flu vaccination program at the end of August. The company, which offers continually updated flu information on its web site at www.walgreens.com/flu, also said it will supply $1 million of seasonal flu shots to uninsured adults.