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Walgreens teams up with Dr. Oz, helps California fight pertussis epidemic
September 17th, 2010
Dr. Mehmet Oz of "The Dr. Oz Show"
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. is partnering with "The Dr. Oz Show" to educate the public about flu prevention and, in a separate effort, is making pertussis vaccinations regularly available at stores in California to help the state stem an epidemic of whooping cough.
Walgreens said Friday that it's working with the popular nationally syndicated talk show, featuring Emmy Award-winning host Dr. Mehmet Oz, to answer key questions about the upcoming flu season and encourage flu shots as the best method of protection.
The partnership, which is entering its second year, includes a number of elements and media integrations in the coming months.
Plans call for Walgreens pharmacist Stacia Woodcock to appear on the Sept. 21 episode of "Dr. Oz" to discuss the latest information regarding the 2010-11 flu season, and Woodcock will administer a flu shot to Dr. Oz during the show.
Also, in-store collateral featuring Dr. Oz provides information about fighting the flu and encourages people to "Arm Yourself for the Ones You Love," Walgreens' award-winning flu shot campaign. The signage will appear in all of the more than 7,500 Walgreens stores nationwide.
In addition, select Walgreens prescriptions will include co-branded flu prevention tips for consumers, from "The Dr. Oz Show" and Walgreens.
"We're proud to again work with 'The Dr. Oz Show' to keep America healthy throughout what's always an unpredictable flu season," commented Kim Feil, Walgreens' chief marketing officer. "We have shared goals of encouraging people to be proactive when it comes to flu prevention and overall preventative health, and together we look forward to providing the resources for people to stay well."
Walgreens launched its annual flu vaccine campaign last month, calling it the most comprehensive flu shot program in the nation.
"The flu can be a very serious illness for people of all ages," Dr. Mehmet Oz said in a statement. "There are many ways you can significantly reduce the risk of getting the flu and protect yourself and those around you throughout the flu season. I applaud Walgreens for making the flu shot option widely available for people who want that tool."
Meanwhile, in California, Walgreens is offering daily pertussis immunizations at more than 150 stores throughout the state, with no appointment needed.
The drug store chain reported that California is on a pace for the worst epidemic of pertussis in nearly five decades, and that officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health are urging people to get vaccinated against the disease.
"We share in the recommendations of state and federal health officials that the best thing people can do to keep themselves and their families healthy during this epidemic is to get vaccinated," stated Bill Hose, California market vice president for Walgreens. "In addition to children, who are the most vulnerable, those who care for or are in contact with children should also be immunized, and we're continuing to stress these important statewide recommendations to our patients, customers and the general public."
Walgreens said it has more than 575 drug stores throughout California and, in response to public demand and the current need for additional immunization resources, continues to add locations that can administer whooping cough vaccines.