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Walgreens’ Kevin Ban shares research findings, testing plans ahead of respiratory virus season

Walgreens’ executive vice president and global chief medical officer, Kevin Ban, shared consumer research findings as well as pharmacy offerings ahead of the fall and winter respiratory season.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor

In conjunction with announcing new vaccination and testing offerings ahead of fall respiratory virus season, Kevin Ban, executive vice president and global chief medical officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, shared consumer insights from Walgreens and KRC Research about people’s attitudes, concerns and likely behaviors.

During a virtual media preview on Aug. 15th, Ban shared the following key findings from a survey of more than 1,000 adult consumers:

  • When asked about how consumers feel coming into this year’s flu season, the top three feelings mentioned were calm (37%), aware (32%) and prepared (30%); as opposed to less than 10% of consumers noting anxiety (9%), reluctance (7%) or worry (6%);
  • When asked about important factors in deciding to get a flu shot, time was most frequently mentioned (41%), as people want a quick and easy experience. Expertise (38%) and efficacy (38%) were tied as the second most important factors; and
  • More than half of respondents said they view pharmacies as easy and time efficient for flu shots (57%), convenient to home and/or work (51%) and cost-effective (50%).

“These insights demonstrate that people recognize pharmacies as a convenient and easy place to receive vaccinations,” said Ban. “To meet this demand, we are removing friction to help keep our communities protected this fall. Our expert pharmacists are prepared to ensure everyone gets the appropriate prevention, testing or treatment they need this season through offerings such as our in-store vouchers for employees or new, low-cost 2 results in 1 test for COVID-19 and flu.”

Walgreens offerings reflect what matters most to consumers this fall respiratory virus season based on these new survey insights.

The retailer also is offering in-store vouchers and off-site vaccination clinics through its employer vaccination program and is rolling out a low-cost, 2 results in 1 test for flu and COVID-19 this fall respiratory virus season. These new services support insights gleaned from the survey, which reveals many prefer going to local pharmacies because of their ease and convenience.

Walgreens’ new services will help communities to get ahead of respiratory virus season with accessible and timely options for vaccination, testing and treatment all in one place.

Employer Vaccination Program:

Walgreens is offering an in-store voucher program to employers, which would allow employees to schedule an appointment and come into a Walgreens location at a time convenient to them.

Off-site employer vaccination clinics are another convenient offering for eligible individuals to receive their seasonal and routine vaccines. These clinics will be staffed by trained pharmacists, who can answer questions and educate individuals on the latest health guidance.

Employers interested in hosting a vaccination clinic at their workplace can visit online here

COVID-19/Influenza A and B Test:

For individuals 3 years and older experiencing respiratory symptoms, Walgreens is making it easier to get tested by offering an easy 2 results in 1 testing option for COVID-19 and influenza A and B. The low-cost test will be administered by a pharmacist via a single swab, with results within 30 minutes.

Based on increasing positivity rates shown in the Walgreens COVID-19 Index and higher or earlier flu activity in several Southern Hemispheric countries compared to what was seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic2, Walgreens is working to make this test available by mid-September.

Treatment: Simplifying a path to recovery for patients, Walgreens pharmacists will be able to prescribe COVID-19 treatments nationwide and flu treatments in select locations.

Walgreens also is offering respiratory syncytial virus vaccination appointments nationwide and will provide the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended COVID-19 vaccine once available later this fall.

To make a vaccination or testing appointment, individuals can visit online here or here, download the Walgreens app or call. 

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