Retail News Breaks
Measles outbreak in Ohio spurs Walgreens to widen vaccine availability
June 18th, 2014
DEERFIELD, Ill. – A spike in measles cases in Ohio has led Walgreen Co. to offer MMR vaccinations (measles, mumps, rubella) at all of its drug stores and walk-in clinics in the state.
Walgreens said Wednesday that the move comes in response to this week's executive order from Ohio Gov. John Kasich that enables pharmacists to administer the vaccine to adults. Healthcare Clinics can provide MMR vaccinations to patients age 7 and older.
Overall, Walgreens has more than 250 drug stores and 35 Healthcare Clinics in Ohio.
"Our pharmacists and Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners are highly trained vaccination experts, and Walgreens responded quickly to the need for more vaccination resources as measles cases have started to spread to different parts of the state," Nick Barsan, Walgreens' market pharmacy director for Ohio, said in a statement. "The measles virus is highly contagious, and the vaccine is the best protection people can get. Anyone unsure about their vaccination history, especially as it relates to measles or mumps, should talk to their pharmacist or physician as soon as possible."
The Ohio Department of Health reported 297 measles cases in the state, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 397 cases have been reported nationwide this year, a 20-year high, according to Walgreens. Health officials are urging Americans – especially parents with young children, international travelers and those unsure about their vaccination history — to ensure their vaccination records are up-to-date.
In addition to the measles outbreak, the Ohio Department of Health is reporting more than 400 probable and confirmed cases of mumps in the state, Walgreens said.
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