During the 2012-13 flu season, Walgreens offered the influenza vaccine every day in every location nationwide, mobilized over 27,000 healthcare professionals and, ultimately, immunized 7 million people! Over 125,000 of these flu shots were administered in the 167 Walgreens locations in Massachusetts. While Walgreens may be better known in this capacity, the company also strives to improve vaccination rates for adult immunizations by working with the communities it serves, leveraging the pharmacists’ role and forming partnerships.
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Walgreens has helped address health disparities in minority communities and underserved populations. Since 2010, Walgreens has donated more than $10 million worth of flu vaccines to local organizations! During the 2012-13 flu season Walgreens in Massachusetts provided 1800 flu vaccines at no charge to these underserved and underinsured populations.
On a larger scale, Walgreens collaboration extends nationwide through state supplied vaccine programs, Vote & Vax as well as state registry reporting programs, including the one in Massachusetts to ensure that patients’ immunization histories are up to date. Walgreens began reporting to the Massachusetts registry in October 2012 and has successfully submitted over 330,000 vaccinations to date.
Internationally, Walgreens has donated more than $9 million worth of influenza vaccines to the nation of Laos. Walgreens also launched a comprehensive travel health program that offers consultations, education on pertinent health issues to the destination, as well as immunizations and medications for diseases that are endemic to the area.
To illustrate the impact of adult immunization efforts, Walgreens has conducted several studies. One such study investigated utilization of off-clinic hours for vaccination and found that approximately 30.5 percent of all vaccinations were provided during weekends, evenings and holidays. With the low rates of adult and adolescent vaccination in the U.S., creating new opportunities for vaccination may help rates reach the Healthy People 2020 goals. Walgreens will be championing these efforts every step of the way.