Walgreens resumes immunizations with new safety measures
Walgreens is resuming immunization services with additional safety measures in place for pharmacy team members and patients. The changes follow recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and come ahead of flu season, which health officials warn may coincide with a second wave of COVID-19.
“Immunizations are critical to ensuring the health of our communities from vaccine-preventable illness and reducing the strain on our healthcare system, which is even more important during the pandemic,” said Kevin Ban, Walgreens chief medical officer. “As highly accessible providers of care in communities across the country, Walgreens pharmacists are available to safely administer immunizations to help patients protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities from vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Routine immunizations are even more important in a COVID-19 environment to help protect at-risk populations and reduce the overall burden of respiratory illnesses on the healthcare system. At the height of shelter-in-place orders across the country, Walgreens continued to provide only essential immunizations where the benefit outweighed the risk, and followed CDC guidelines to postpone all non-urgent, routine immunizations.
Walgreens said that throughout the pandemic it continues to meet or exceed CDC guidelines for safety and precautions. Pharmacy areas maintain enhanced cleaning regimens, social distancing protocols and plexiglass shields at registers. Key measures Walgreens is implementing to ensure the safe administration of immunizations for our patients and pharmacy team members include:
- All pharmacy team members are required to wear disposable facemasks at all times, including while administering immunizations, and follow proper glove and handwashing procedures that are standard for vaccination administration;
- As an additional safety measure, all pharmacy team members administering immunizations are receiving plastic face shields to be used during immunizations for eye protection;
- Patients entering a pharmacy are encouraged to wear a face covering to protect others, and those who do not have one will be provided a facemask prior to receiving immunizations; and
- At least six feet of distance is maintained between pharmacy waiting area chairs where patients may choose to complete paperwork and wait for their immunization or appointment.
Walgreens pharmacists have a history of providing immunizations to patients in communities across the country, having administered more than 60 million vaccines in the United States since 2010. As part of efforts to provide greater access to immunizations, since 2013 Walgreens has partnered with the United Nations Foundation for 'Get a Shot. Give a Shot' to provide 50 million vaccines to children around the world.
Walgreens accepts walk-ins, or patients may schedule an appointment in advance online.