TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Walgreens to help provide vaccines to up to three million children in need

Walgreens, the largest drugstore chain in the U.S., announced a partnership on Wednesday with the U.N. Foundation to help provide up to three million vaccines to children in developing countries.

Through October 14, Walgreens customers have the opportunity to contribute to the cause. For every vaccine administered at any Walgreens pharmacy, Duane Reade pharmacy in New York or Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens, Walgreens will donate the value of a life-saving vaccine through the foundation's Shot@Life program.

Walgreens will donate up to three million vaccines, most of which will be for polio and measles. Statistics show that one in five children throughout the world lack access to life-saving immunizations and that a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease.

"We've developed a number of innovative programs and public-private partnerships through which we've helped improve immunization rates in medically underserved areas, and among other targeted populations in need across the U.S.," Harry Leider, Walgreens' chief medical officer, said. "With the growing need for life-saving vaccines such as polio and measles in developing countries, we're proud to work with the U.N. Foundation on this important cause that provides access to vaccine for children in need, creates greater awareness and furthers our mission to help people get, stay and live well."

Shot@Life is a campaign of the U.N. Foundation meant to protect children in developing countries from vaccine-preventable diseases like polio, diarrhea, pneumonia and measles.

"Walgreens' generous donation will help save lives, while creating a greater awareness of the need to make vaccines available to parents around the world who want to protect their children from preventable diseases," Kathy Calvin, the president and chief executive officer of the U.N. Foundation, said. "Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective ways to save and improve the lives of children in developing countries by protecting them from life-threatening diseases."

In the last two years, Walgreens worked with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to donate more than 400,000 doses of flu vaccine for at-risk population in Nicaragua and Laos. Through a flu shot voucher program developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Walgreens distributed approximately one million flu shot vouchers to uninsured and underinsured individuals in the U.S.