Walgreens expands its whooping cough vaccine availability to all of its 580 Illinois stores in response to series of outbreaks in state
December 14, 2011
– With a growing number of Illinois counties reporting their highest numbers of whooping cough cases in recent years, Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG) has expanded its offering of immunizations that provide protection against pertussis (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) to all of its more than 580 pharmacies throughout the state, every day, with no appointment necessary. All Take Care Clinics, located at more than 45 select Walgreens in Illinois, also offer immunizations daily and can administer vaccine to those ages 11 through 64. Walgreens pharmacists in Illinois can administer immunizations to those age 14 and older.
This comes as the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today alerted residents statewide to a series of pertussis outbreaks.
“We note the recommendations of health officials that the best thing people can do to keep themselves and their families healthy during a possible outbreak is to get vaccinated,” said Denise Scarpelli, Illinois market pharmacy director for Walgreens. “In addition to children, who are the most vulnerable, those who care for or are in contact with children should also be immunized. We hope that through greater access to immunizations, we can keep our communities healthy and help limit the spread of the virus.”
Walgreens is offering pertussis immunizations daily in response to the possible need for additional health care and immunizations resources.
McHenry County has reported an outbreak of more than 200 whooping cough cases, a county record, which it says is affecting more than 30 area schools. Last week, officials in Lake County issued an alert urging residents to be aware of signs and symptoms that can be associated with whooping cough (coughing, vomiting, spasms), as a growing number of cases are now also being reported in Lake and Cook Counties, as well as a number of surrounding Chicago area collar counties.
Statewide, more than 1,100 people have contracted pertussis this year, according to IDPH. Health officials in Illinois are working to educate consumers about the virus leading up to winter break for schools and the busy holiday travel season.
For the latest pertussis immunization recommendations for children and adults, as well as vaccine information, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at www.idph.state.il.us.
Select Walgreens offer a wide range of more than 17 CDC-recommended immunizations, including those for flu, shingles, pneumonia, meningitis and others.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion. The company operates 7,811 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy
services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.