With new state regulations allowing pharmacists to administer a broader range of immunizations, Walgreens (NYSE: WAG)(NASDAQ: WAG) has significantly expanded vaccine availability at all of its 851 locations across Florida, and is now offering immunizations daily for both shingles and pneumonia.
The Florida Department of Health recently approved new regulations, giving certified pharmacists the ability to administer both Zostavax – a one-time vaccine that can reduce the risk of shingles in individuals 60 years of age and older – and also pneumococcal vaccine, to help protect against pneumonia.
Immunizations may be covered by insurance plans. Patients are encouraged to check with their insurance provider for coverage details.
“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 Terry Gubbins, 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 these vaccinations and collaborate further with our local health care providers to help improve immunization rates in our communities.”Licensed and certified pharmacist immunizers in Florida are also able to administer flu vaccine, which Walgreens offers daily at all of its stores throughout the flu season. To find the nearest Walgreens, patients can call 1-800-WALGREENS or visit the Walgreens store locator online at www.walgreens.com/findastore. A February 2012 CDC report 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. About Walgreens 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 7,907 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.
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