All Walgreens, Duane Reade Pharmacies and Take Care Clinics Now Offering Flu Shots Daily with No Appointment Necessary

WalgreensJim Cohn, (847) 315-2950

Getting a flu shot is again as easy as walking into any Walgreens (NYSE: WAG)(NASDAQ: WAG), any day, without an appointment as immunizations are now available daily at all of Walgreens nearly 8,000 stores nationwide, including all Duane Reade pharmacies in New York, and also at more than 360 Take Care Clinics at select Walgreens drugstores.

Flu shots are available during all pharmacy and clinic hours, including nights, overnights at 24-hour pharmacy locations, weekends and holidays. Off-hours availability has proven to be a convenience Americans value, as Walgreens data shows nearly one-third (32 percent) of the more than 6.3 million vaccinations administered at Walgreens and Take Care Clinics during the 2010-2011 flu season came outside of normal business hours.

“Customers value the convenient access we provide, as well as the clinical experience and expertise of Walgreens pharmacists and Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants, all of whom continue to play an important and expanding role in health care delivery,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “By providing flu shots and other immunizations that can protect against vaccine-preventable diseases, we’ve demonstrated the many ways we can help improve immunization rates in the communities we serve, while helping our customers get, stay and live well.”

While flu shots are available on a walk-in basis, appointments are also available and may be scheduled online for any Walgreens or Take Care Clinic by visiting or . Subject to availability, state, age and health condition-related restrictions apply.

Flu shots are covered under Medicare Part B as well as many insurance plans. All Walgreens points of care also offer Fluzone HD, a high-dose influenza vaccine for those over age 65, and all pharmacies offer Fluzone Intradermal, a shot administered with a smaller needle than the regular flu shot that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle.

New this season, Walgreens and Take Care Clinics are also offering a free comprehensive immunizations assessment with every flu shot. The assessment can help patients determine which other immunizations they may need based upon current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A recent Walgreens study found that more than 40 percent of U.S. adults surveyed were unaware of the latest government-recommended vaccinations for their age and health condition. More than half of those surveyed, 53 percent, also said they aren’t diligent about regular check-ups with their primary care physician.

Each year, seasonal flu vaccine is produced to protect against the three viruses or flu strains that research indicates will be most prevalent. There is a new vaccine for this season, as the 2012-13 vaccine includes H1N1, as well as H3N2 and a B virus which are different from those recommended for the Northern Hemisphere last season.

The CDC recommends a flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months and recommends that people get immunized as soon as vaccine becomes available. Age restrictions for immunizations vary by state at Walgreens pharmacies, while Take Care Clinics at select Walgreens can provide immunizations for patients age 2 and older.

As community pharmacy and retail clinics have played an integral role in providing more convenient access to flu shots and other immunizations in recent years, Walgreens data shows that nearly one-third (32 percent) of the more than 6.3 million people who received flu shots, as well as those for pneumonia, shingles and meningitis, had them administered during off-hours – evening, night, holiday or weekend at a Walgreens pharmacy or Take Care Clinic.

A majority of off-hours immunizations were administered on weekends (56 percent), while 35 percent came during evening hours. The remaining 9 percent were administered on holidays.

“An expansive network of more than 27,000 licensed or certified immunizers has enabled Walgreens and Take Care Clinics to cater to the busy schedules of today’s consumers, by offering flu shots and other health care services when it’s most convenient for them,” Crawford said. “At the same time, Walgreens and Take Care are bridging a critical gap in health care today by offering more preventive services such as health testing. And both companies are working closely with hospitals, health systems and local, state and federal health organizations on collaborative programs that can improve patient care while lowering overall costs.”

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens () 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 7,919 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.

While immunizing health professional is on duty. Subject to availability. State, age and health-related restrictions apply. See pharmacy for details.

The assessment is not for diagnostic or treatment purposes. Information provided by Walgreens does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See pharmacy for details.

Walgreens immunizations awareness survey, April 2012