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Walgreens reaches goal in UN life-saving vaccine campaign
January 16th, 2014
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. is donating the value of 3 million vaccines for children in developing nations with the completion of its immunization initiative in partnership with the United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life campaign.
To benefit children in developing countries by protecting them against diseases such as measles and polio, Walgreens pledged to donate the value of one vaccine through Shot@Life for each immunization the drug chain administered between Sept. 4 and Oct. 14, 2013. The company said Wednesday that it reached its goal of administering 3 million vaccines.
"We're proud to have been a part of the Shot@Life campaign with the UN Foundation, and I want to thank our customers who came in for flu shots and vaccines," Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walgreens, said in a statement. "This program is a great example of how large organizations and individuals can come together to improve the delivery of preventive care. At Walgreens, we're very pleased to help these vaccines get to the children who need them."
Shot@Life statistics show that one in five children worldwide lack access to life-saving vaccinations, and a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease, according to Walgreens.
"By expanding access to vaccines, we have the ability to save a child’s life every 20 seconds from a preventable life-threatening disease, like measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio," stated Kathy Calvin, president and chief executive officer of the UN Foundation. "Working in partnership with Walgreens, we raised awareness among its loyal customers of the importance of vaccines for the health of children in developing countries, and together with our United Nations partners we have given 3 million children around the world an opportunity at a healthy life."
Walgreens added that in the United States it's in the fourth year of a flu shot voucher program developed with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through which 1 million vouchers have been distributed.
This season, the drug chain distributed more than 400,000 flu shot vouchers to Americans without health insurance or coverage for a flu shot, providing free access to individuals and families in need. HHS assisted in the voucher program effort in markets across the country, Walgreens said.
"Since this innovative partnership began in 2010, hundreds of thousands of uninsured men, women, and children have accessed vouchers and received free flu shots," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "In the face of persistent disparities in influenza vaccination coverage — especially among adults — this initiative is a promising example of how we are working with partners to expand access to important preventive services for our most vulnerable and underserved communities."