Walgreen Co. has boosted vaccine availability in Massachusetts with new state regulations that permit pharmacists to administer a broad range of immunizations.


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Walgreens expands vaccinations in Massachusetts

May 2nd, 2012

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. has boosted vaccine availability in Massachusetts with new state regulations that permit pharmacists to administer a broad range of immunizations.

Walgreens said Wednesday that it has "significantly expanded" the range of vaccinations at all of its 165 drug stores in Massachusetts and is now offering immunizations daily for 12 vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health approved new regulations in April, giving certified pharmacists the ability to administer a variety of vaccines, including Zostavax, a one-time vaccine that can lower the risk of shingles in people age 60 and older, according to the drug chain.

Licensed and certified pharmacist immunizers can now administer the following vaccines in Massachusetts, all of which are available at Walgreens, to those age 18 and older: influenza, tetanus, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap), varicella (chicken pox), human papillomavirus (HPV), Zoster (shingles), measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (pneumonia), meningococcal (meningitis), hepatitis A and B, and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV).

"With more than 26,000 immunization-trained pharmacists, we've demonstrated through flu season and other health initiatives the important role Walgreens can play in providing convenient neighborhood access to immunizations and other preventive health care services," Steve Pashko, market pharmacy director at Walgreens, said in a statement. "As some of the most trusted health care professionals in communities across our state, this is an excellent opportunity for our pharmacists to help educate residents about the importance of adult vaccinations and collaborate further with our local health care providers to help improve adult immunization rates in our communities."

Walgreens noted that, according to the Massachusetts health department, the states has often led the nation in childhood vaccination rates, yet immunizations rates for adults have lagged. A February 2012 CDC report also estimated that at least 45,000 American adults die each year of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines, whereas the CDC reports that fewer than 1,000 Americans die of childhood diseases that are vaccine-preventable.

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