DEERFIELD, Ill., May 2, 2012 - With new state regulations allowing pharmacists to administer a broad range of immunizations, Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG) has significantly expanded vaccine availability at all of its 165 locations across Massachusetts, and is now offering immunizations daily for 12 vaccines currently recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) approved new regulations in April, giving certified pharmacists the ability to administer a variety of vaccines including Zostavax–a one-time vaccine that can reduce the risk of shingles in individuals 60 years of age and older–and other vaccines that can help protect against whooping cough (pertussis), pneumonia and meningitis. Eight other CDC-recommended vaccinations, including flu shots, are also available daily at all Massachusetts Walgreens pharmacies with no appointment necessary.
“With more than 26,000 immunizations-trained pharmacists, we’ve demonstrated through flu season and other health initiatives the important role Walgreens can play in providing convenient neighborhood access to immunizations and other preventive health care services,” said Steve Pashko, Walgreens market pharmacy director. “As some of the most trusted health care professionals in communities across our state, this is an excellent opportunity for our pharmacists to help educate residents about the importance of adult vaccinations and collaborate further with our local health care providers to help improve adult immunization rates in our communities.”
Licensed and certified pharmacist immunizers may now administer the following vaccines in Massachusetts, all of which are available at Walgreens, to adults 18 years of age and older:
- Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PSV23)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)
Many immunizations may be covered by insurance plans as well as Medicare Part B. Patients are encouraged to check with their insurance provider for coverage details. To find the nearest Walgreens near you, patients can call 1-800-WALGREENS or visit the Walgreens store locator online at www.walgreens.com/findastore.
According to MDPH, Massachusetts has often led the nation in childhood vaccination rates but vaccination rates among adults have lagged behind. A February 2012 CDC report also suggests that at least 45,000 American adults die each year of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. By comparison, the CDC reports that fewer than 1,000 Americans die of childhood diseases that are vaccine-preventable.
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 7,847 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.