Walgreens also announced expanded age eligibility for flu shots, with pharmacy team members able to vaccinate patients 3 years of age and older.
Walgreens is now offering flu shots for all patients 3 years of age and older, as well as co-administration with COVID-19 vaccines to allow patients to get up to date on immunizations during a single pharmacy visit.
Flu shots are available by walk-in or appointment at more than 9000 store locations across the country, according to a press release. The upcoming flu season also coincides with the back-to-school season and the relaxation of many COVID-19 safety guidelines, such as mask wearing and social distancing. According to the press release, CDC experts have warned that these factors could result in an active flu season.
“Measures like social distancing, mask wearing, and increased flu vaccinations contributed to very few flu cases last season,” said Kevin Ban, MD, chief medical officer at Walgreens, in the press release. “However, as communities return to everyday activities amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases, it is critical that people remain diligent about getting their flu vaccine.”
In addition to the availability of flu vaccines, Walgreens announced that they can be co-administered with COVID-19 vaccines per CDC guidelines. Patients can also get their flu shot while receiving other recommended vaccinations, including shingles, pneumonia, whooping cough, meningitis, measles, tetanus, typhoid, polio, and others.
Patients can also use a new vaccine scheduler, designed to plan guest appointments and other routine immunizations. When scheduling a flu or COVID-19 vaccine appointment, individuals will be asked whether they would like to get additional vaccines, making it easy and convenient to stay up to date.
Finally, the press release said pharmacy team members are now able to administer flu shots to children 3 years of age and older nationwide, to protect entire families. CDC guidelines recommend flu vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older, and children under the age of 5 years are the most vulnerable to serious flu-related complications, according to the press release.
All of these efforts are intended to expand vaccine access amidst an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Public health and medical experts are also planning for the rollout of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine boosters in September, as the Delta variant continues to spread and early data show reduced protection against mild and moderate disease.
“Walgreens pharmacy team members have more than a decade of experience administering vaccines and make it easy to get both your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations in one convenient stop,” Ban said in the press release.
Walgreens Ready for Fall Immunizations in Anticipation of COVID-19 Booster Shots and Active Flu Season. News release. Walgreens; August 24, 2021. Accessed August 24, 2021.