Walgreens taking proactive measures in preparation for flu season to meet customer demand and ensure the health and safety of communities during COVID-19 pandemic
DEERFIELD, Ill., August 17, 2020 - With the upcoming flu season expected to coincide with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Walgreens is now offering flu shots daily at all of its nearly 9,1001 pharmacies with additional safety measures in place. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging everyone over 6 months of age to get a flu shot2 to help protect themselves and their communities from vaccine-preventable illnesses.
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“The convergence of COVID-19 and flu season means that flu vaccinations are critical to reduce the overall burden of respiratory illnesses on the healthcare system and help protect communities,” said Kevin Ban, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Walgreens. “Getting your flu shot at Walgreens is one more thing we know everyone can do to help keep themselves and their loved ones healthy, in addition to social distancing, thorough hand washing and wearing face coverings.”
Manufacturers are making millions of extra flu vaccine doses to meet the highly anticipated demand for flu shots this season.3 Walgreens has a long history of providing immunizations to the more than one third of patients who receive their flu shots at a pharmacy, and has worked closely with manufacturers to increase supply and administer flu vaccinations as soon as possible this season. With 78 percent of the population within five miles of a Walgreens store, consumers can safely and conveniently get their flu shots from specially trained Walgreens pharmacy teams who know which flu shot is right for patients based on their age and health history.
The Flu Shot Experience at Walgreens
As announced in June, Walgreens has implemented additional safety measures meeting or exceeding CDC guidelines for pharmacy team members and patients to best meet anticipated demand for flu shots this season—60 percent of U.S. adults plan to get a flu shot in the fall4, while just 45 percent of U.S. adults got vaccinated during the 2018-19 influenza season5. Patients can get their flu shots by walk-in or schedule an appointment via Walgreens Find Care through the Walgreens app or online during pharmacy hours, including evenings, overnights at 24-hour pharmacy locations, weekends and holidaysi. Flu vaccine is subject to availability, and age, state and health related restrictions may apply.
“Throughout the pandemic, Walgreens continues to make the health and safety of its team members and customers a top priority,” added Dr. Ban. “We want our patients to know that we are there to help them and are taking precautions necessary to keep our communities safe.”
Who can get a flu shot:
- The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months receives a flu shot—Walgreens pharmacies can provide flu immunizations for anyone over the age of 4 and age restrictions vary based on state regulations.
- The flu shot is free, no cost to the patient, with most insurance6.
- Flu shots are also free to the patient with Medicare Part B and Medicaidii in certain states.
How to prepare for a visit:
- Complete paperwork online and bring it with you to reduce time in the pharmacy.
- Walk-in to Walgreens for a flu shot at any time or schedule an appointment online at a time convenient for you.
- Find the nearest Walgreens via the store locator or Walgreens Find Care.
- Bring a face covering and remember to put it on before entering the store.
- Those who do not have a facemask will be provided one prior to receiving the flu shot.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing and bring insurance information and photo ID.
What to expect in the pharmacy:
- Enhanced cleaning regimens, social distancing protocols and plexiglass shields at registers are maintained at all Walgreens locations.
- Pharmacy team members wear disposable facemasks at all times, including while administering the flu shot. They also follow proper hand hygiene and glove use procedures that are typical for immunizations.
- As an additional safety measure, all pharmacy team members administering flu shots wear plastic face shields for additional protection.
- Prior to administration of an immunization, pharmacy team members will take patients’ temperature and screen for the presence of symptoms or illness. Immunizations will be deferred if a patient has a fever or other symptoms associated with illness until after symptoms are resolved.
Lifesaving Vaccines for Children Around the World
For the eighth consecutive year, Walgreens is teaming up with the United Nations Foundation for the Get a Shot. Give a Shot.® program to provide lifesaving vaccines to children around the world. For every flu shot or other vaccination administered, Walgreens will make a donation to the UN Foundation, up to $2.6 million. To date, the Walgreens Get a Shot. Give a Shot. program has helped provide 50 million lifesaving vaccines to children around the world.
For more information on getting your flu shot at Walgreens, please visit https://www.walgreens.com/flu.
Walgreens (walgreens.com), one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), a global leader in retail and wholesale pharmacy. Walgreens is proud to be a neighborhood health, beauty and retail destination supporting communities across the country, and was named to FORTUNE* magazine’s 2019 Companies that Change the World list. Approximately 8 million customers interact with Walgreens in stores and online each day. As of August 31, 2019, Walgreens operates 9,277 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Walgreens also provides specialty pharmacy and mail services and offers in-store clinics and other health care services throughout the United States, most of which are operated by our health care strategic partners.
1 As of May 31, 2020. https://d18rn0p25nwr6d.cloudfront.net/CIK-0001618921/eef0a06d-7a5f-4612-91c3-4c5369ddea73.pdf
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevent. “Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: 2020-2021 Season.” July 2, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm
3 The Washington Post. “CDC and drugmakers boost flu vaccine doses amid fears of unprecedented respiratory illness season.” June 24, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/06/24/cdc-drugmakers-boost-flu-vaccine-doses-amid-fears-an-unprecedented-respiratory-illness-season/
4 Reuters. “Fears of coronavirus second wave prompt flu push at U.S. pharmacies, drugmakers.” May 26, 2020. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-flu-focus/fears-of-coronavirus-second-wave-prompt-flu-push-at-u-s-pharmacies-drugmakers-idUSKBN2321F0
5 CDC. “Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, 2018-19 Influenza Season.” September 26, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/coverage-1819estimates.htm
6 By getting a flu shot, you help defend yourself from the flu and are less likely to spread the virus to those around you. Vaccines subject to availability. State-, age- and health- related restrictions may apply.
i Subject to availability. State age and health-related restrictions apply. See pharmacy for details.
ii Varies by state. See pharmacy for details.
Walgreens Media Relations