Walgreens sticks it to the flu

9/16/2009

DEERFIELD, Ill. Following two weeks of unprecedented consumer demand for seasonal flu shots, Walgreens has administered more than 1 million immunizations since it began offering them Sept. 1 at its 7,000 drug stores nationwide and nearly 350 Take Care clinics, the drug retailer announced Wednesday morning.

Walgreens eclipsed the 1 million shots mark on Sept. 15, as the drugstore chain nearly surpassed in just over two weeks the approximately 1.2 million flu shots it gave last season.

“We’ve seen tremendous response to the early availability of seasonal flu shots,” stated Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. “Consumers are being proactive when it comes to flu prevention, and it’s gratifying to know that our healthcare professionals are playing such an active role as a valuable resource throughout this flu season.”

On Sept. 8, one week after launching the largest flu prevention initiative in the company’s 108-year history, Walgreens began offering seasonal flu shots at all of its pharmacies in 50 states from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, through the end of September. Shots are also available outside those hours on a walk-in basis when an immunizing pharmacist or nurse practitioner is on staff, or by appointment. Take Care Clinics at select Walgreens locations will continue offering flu shots on a walk-in basis during weekdays as well as evening and weekend hours this flu season.

With more than 16,000 pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants licensed or certified to provide flu shots, Walgreens has the largest retail network of certified immunizers in the U.S.

Beginning Sept. 17, Walgreens will begin distributing up to $1 million in seasonal flu shot vouchers to uninsured adults who visit one of nine Wellness Tour bus locations in select markets around the continental U.S. “We’re here to help, and continue to explore new and different ways our expansive network of immunizers can be of assistance, by providing convenient and accessible health care in local communities throughout the country,” Wasson said.

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