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Walgreens touts access with flu shot program
August 6th, 2012
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. is now providing flu shots without an appointment at its over 7,900 drug stores nationwide and more than 360 Take Care Clinics.
Walgreens said Monday that the seasonal flu immunizations are available during all pharmacy and clinic hours, including nights, overnights at 24-hour pharmacy locations, weekends and holidays. Customers also can schedule a flu shot and make an appointments online for any Walgreens drug store or Take Care Clinic.
Flexibility in hours and points of access has been key to lifting immunization rates, according to data from Walgreens. The drug chain found that 32% of the more than 6.3 million people who received flu shots — as well as those for pneumonia, shingles and meningitis — had them administered during off-hours, such as during the evening, holiday or weekend, at a Walgreens pharmacy or Take Care Clinic. Most of the off-hours vaccinations were administered on weekends (56%), 35% came during evening hours and 9% were administered on holidays.
New this flu season, Walgreens and Take Care Clinics are also providing a free immunizations assessment with every flu shot. The assessment can help patients determine if they need other vaccines, based on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"An expansive network of more than 27,000 licensed or certified immunizers has enabled Walgreens and Take Care Clinics to cater to the busy schedules of today's consumers, by offering flu shots and other health care services when it’s most convenient for them," Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walgreens, said in a statement. "At the same time, Walgreens and Take Care are bridging a critical gap in health care today by offering more preventive services such as health testing. And both companies are working closely with hospitals, health systems and local, state and federal health organizations on collaborative programs that can improve patient care while lowering overall costs."
Walgreens added that all of its points of care also offer Fluzone HD, a high-dose influenza vaccine for those over age 65, and all pharmacies offer Fluzone Intradermal, which has a smaller needle than the regular flu shot and is injected into the skin instead of the muscle.
"Customers value the convenient access we provide, as well as the clinical experience and expertise of Walgreens pharmacists and Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants, all of whom continue to play an important and expanding role in health care delivery," stated Crawford. "By providing flu shots and other immunizations that can protect against vaccine-preventable diseases, we've demonstrated the many ways we can help improve immunization rates in the communities we serve, while helping our customers get, stay and live well."