Walgreens presents data on increased immunization access

Walgreens presented new data last week at the 2012 National Immunization Conference, showing evidence of the company's leadership in the expansion of access to immunizations and support of U.S. disease prevention.

The company, which is the largest drugstore chain in the country, demonstrated the impact of three of its initiatives aimed at increasing the rates of immunization. The three initiatives were the expansion of access to immunization services in underserved areas, a pharmacist-led meningitis vaccination program and an off-clinic hour vaccination administration.

A study into off-clinic hours vaccinations showed that between August 2010 and July 2012, one-quarter of seniors visited the store during off-clinic hours for vaccinations and more than one-third of working age individuals visited the store during off-clinic hours for vaccinations.

A study of the meningitis vaccination program found that vaccinations increased dramatically from 41 in January 2011 to 11,229 in January 2012. The study into underserved areas found that pharmacies converting to food oases saw an increase of influenza vaccinations by 75 percent, from 15.9 per 1,000 pharmacy patients to 28.0 per 1,000 pharmacy patients.

"Walgreens continues to be committed to improving access to immunizations and ultimately preventing serious illness and disability," Kermit Crawford, the company's president of pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions, said. "Our network of more than 26,000 certified immunizing pharmacists provides us the ability to offer a wide range of CDC-recommended vaccinations when it's most convenient for patients and in areas where access is a significant challenge. We believe our programs are vital to the health and wellness of the communities we operate in, and we are proud to be able to deliver this service."