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Walgreens serves up more vaccines in Indiana
July 2nd, 2013
DEERFIELD, Ill. – With new state legislation going into effect, Walgreen Co. has expanded vaccine availability at all of its 204 drug stores in Indiana.
Walgreens said Monday that Indiana pharmacists are currently authorized to provide all adolescent and adult immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a prescription. Now five of those vaccines are available without a prescription on a walk-in basis at Walgreens pharmacies daily.
The legislation was signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in late April, according to Walgreens.
In Indiana, patients age 11 and older now do not need a prescription for influenza, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap), human papillomavirus (HPV) and meningococcal vaccines.
Also, patients age 65 and older will no longer require a prescription for pneumococcal vaccine. Flu shots will be available beginning in August.
"This is an excellent opportunity for our pharmacists to help educate residents about the importance of adult vaccinations and to improve immunization rates through greater access," Chris Creamer, market pharmacy director at Walgreens, said in a statement. "We've demonstrated through flu seasons and other health initiatives the important role Walgreens is playing in health care today, providing high-quality, affordable care to help more people get, stay and live well."
Recently, a number of states have taken measures to make it easier for consumers to get immunizations — particularly flu shots for children — from their local pharmacy.
For example, in May, doctors in Pennsylvania were urging state legislators to support to expand pharmacist-provided immunizations to children over age 7. And in April, representatives of Texas pharmacy groups, independent pharmacists and industry experts called for the passage of state legislation that would expand the authority of Texas pharmacists to administer vaccines to children over age 7.
And in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January issued an executive order that allowed pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to patients age six months to 17 years. Made during a severe flu outbreak at the time, the order suspended for the 30 days the section of state education law that restricts the authority of pharmacists to administer immunizing agents only to people age 18 or older.
In addition, the availability of vaccinations at drug stores is seen as key with the coming influx of newly insured consumers next year. It's estimated that starting in 2014, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health reform law, more than 30 million Americans previously lacking health insurance will be able to buy health plans through state insurance exchanges or get coverage via broader Medicaid eligibility.