Walgreens, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Partner to Provide More Than $10 Million Worth of Flu Shots to Uninsured and Underserved

Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are teaming up in an effort to make 2011 a healthier New Year for those without adequate health insurance.

Walgreens is providing more than $10 million worth of vouchers for free flu shots, which HHS will help distribute to up to 350,000 eligible, uninsured and underserved people in 15 U.S. markets. Vouchers are good for one flu shot at any Walgreens pharmacy, Duane Reade pharmacy in New York or Take Care Clinic, and will be available beginning early next week in the following metropolitan areas:

  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Bronx, N.Y.
  • Chicago, Ill.
  • Houston, Texas
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Newark, N.J.
  • Oakland, Calif.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.

Vouchers will also soon be distributed and available through local health agencies in:

  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Miami – Dade County, Fla.
  • Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Seattle, Wash.
  • Waco, Texas
  • Washington, D.C.
  • New Hampshire (various regions)

Local public health officials and their community partners in these identified cities, in conjunction with the HHS Regional Health Administrators (RHAs), will distribute the vouchers through a variety of community outreach efforts. Vouchers will be available on a first come, first- served basis while supplies last. State, age and other restrictions may apply.

More information regarding flu shot voucher distribution is available at www.flu.gov.

“We’re proud to partner with HHS to protect as many people as possible during this flu season, particularly those who may not otherwise have access to flu vaccine,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy services. “The flu season traditionally peaks in January and February 70 percent of the time, so this is an important time for prevention. Through this donation, we hope to achieve higher immunization rates among underserved populations, which can lead to a lower incidence of flu.”

“Thanks to the new health care law, many people can get their flu vaccination without paying a co-pay or deductible, but there are still more Americans who cannot afford to get vaccinated for the flu,” said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “With this generous donation, Walgreens is helping individuals and families who otherwise might be unprotected from the flu this season. We are also troubled by recent data showing disparities among people when it comes to flu vaccination. This donation will help us remove barriers that have prevented some from getting vaccinated.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu shot for everyone over the age of six months.

CDC statistics show approximately 46 million Americans currently have no health insurance. Additionally, a recent Harvard Medical School study found that 45,000 people in the U.S. die each year in part because they lack health insurance and do not have access to quality care.

Flu shots are available at all of the more than 7,600 Walgreens stores and more than 350 Take Care Clinics nationwide every day, during pharmacy and clinic hours with no appointment necessary.

About Walgreens

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion. The company operates 7,650 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 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, long- term care and mail service, along with pharmacy benefit solutions and 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. Walgreens Take Care Health Systems subsidiary is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.


Jim Cohn, (847) 315-2950

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