25483 Walgreens Community-Based Influenza Immunization Program

Monday, March 28, 2011: 4:00 PM
Ed Cohen, PharmD , Senior Business Manager, Walgreen Co

Background: Since 2004, the company’s objective has been to play a leading role in immunizing America - providing an affordable, convenient resource for vaccinations.  Walgreens continually strives to expand access and improve vaccination rates.  As more patients turn to pharmacies for immunization and health care needs, Walgreens provides important public education while implementing new programs and resources that bring added value for patients.

Setting: All Walgreens, Duane Reade pharmacies and Take Care Clinics - more than 7,600 points of care nationwide.

Population: Communities across 50 states and Washington, D.C., everyone over 6 months of age, underserved community residents.

Project Description: Walgreens offers optimal convenience to immunization services and information, with influenza vaccines available at all stores and clinics nationwide daily.  To heighten flu awareness and reinforce the importance of vaccinations, Walgreens has partnered with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and Families Fighting Flu, and works closely with the CDC, APhA and local medical communities.  To provide unparalleled access, Walgreens has significantly expanded its network of immunizers, growing from 7,000 to more than 26,000 over the last two years to cover all pharmacy hours at all stores. Walgreens is partnering with health departments and non-profits to distribute 30,000 influenza vaccine vouchers for uninsured residents, helping to improve immunization rates in undeserved communities. 

Results/Lessons Learned: Expanding hours and tailoring to patients’ needs, Walgreens has administered more than 5.6 million influenza vaccines this season in a challenging environment.  This surpasses the 5.4 million flu shots administered in 2009.  Despite low flu activity, Walgreens’ programs and outreach helped heighten awareness of the benefits and importance of influenza vaccinations.  Patients value pharmacy’s convenience as a resource for flu prevention services.  Able to administer flu shots in all states, Walgreens has developed a comprehensive solution for the nation at large, which addresses the needs of the thousands of neighborhood communities we serve.