Walgreens kicks off annual flu shot push

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Vaccines offered on walk-in basis at all pharmacies, clinics

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — As the nation enters the back-to-school season, Walgreens has launched its yearly flu vaccination campaign.

The drug chain said Monday that it’s offering flu shots on a walk-in basis at all of Walgreens pharmacies nationwide, Duane Reade pharmacies in metropolitan New York and Walgreens Healthcare Clinic retail clinics.

Depending on the location, flu immunization options at Walgreens points of care include the trivalent flu vaccine, a high-dose influenza vaccine for seniors, and a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against four strains of influenza.

“For more than a decade, Walgreens pharmacists and Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners have been a trusted and accessible community resource for flu shots and other immunizations,” Richard Ashworth, president of pharmacy and retail operations at Walgreens, said in a statement. “Every flu season is unpredictable, which is why an annual flu shot is the first and most important preventive measure to take to protect yourself and those around you throughout the season.”

At Walgreens care locations, flu shots are available during all pharmacy and clinic hours while an immunizing health professional is on duty, including evenings, overnights at 24-hour pharmacy locations, weekends and holidays. Age restrictions vary by state at Walgreens pharmacies, while Healthcare Clinics can provide vaccinations for patients age 2 and older. The flu shot is covered under most health insurance plans, including Medicare Part B.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) generally recommends an annual flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months as soon as the vaccine becomes available, in order to build up immunity for flu season, which occurs in the fall and winter and typically peaks from late November through March.

In a change for the 2016-2017 flu season, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the nasal spray flu vaccine, should not be used. The recommendation must be reviewed and approved by CDC’s director, and the final recommendation is expected in late summer or early fall.


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