Walgreens launches flu vaccine program

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walgreens flu vaccine
Walgreens is now offering flu shots for everyone aged 3 years and up at nearly 9,000 store locations (Photo: Business Wire).

Walgreens is now offering flu shots for anyone aged 3 years and up.

The drugstore giant, which has also been offering in-store COVID-19 vaccinations since February 2021, is providing flu shots at nearly 9,000 store locations nationwide in an effort to help reduce the spread of vaccine-preventable illnesses in communities.

According to Walgreens, the recent spike in flu cases in the Southern Hemisphere is being regarded as a warning sign that flu activity in the U.S. could reach pre-pandemic levels during the 2022-2023 flu season. Australia is nearing the end of its worst flu season in five years, according to a report from the country's Department of Health and Aged Care.

Walgreens is offering a $5 Walgreens Cash reward in August through December and a $10 Walgreens Cash reward during the month of September to individuals who receive any vaccination at a Walgreens location.

Flu shot appointments are recommended. To schedule an appointment for a flu shot or any vaccine at Walgreens, customers can visit the Walgreens online vaccine scheduler, download the Walgreens app, or call a toll-free number. All scheduling options are available in English and Spanish.

The scheduler, an artificial intelligence-based Nuance voice bot, automatically provides answers to COVID-19 questions, confirms eligibility according to applicable guidelines, and schedules their vaccine appointments wherever vaccines are available. The Nuance solution will also send customers receiving a vaccine an SMS text to confirm appointments after the call.

Consumers will have the option to schedule additional vaccines in the same visit, such as COVID-19, shingles, pneumonia, whooping cough, meningitis, measles, tetanus, typhoid, polio, and others. Customers can complete vaccination consent paperwork digitally prior to their appointment to automatically send to the pharmacy and save time during the appointment. Individuals receiving a vaccination are asked to wear loose-fitting clothing and bring their insurance information.

For the 10th consecutive year, Walgreens is teaming up with the United Nations Foundation for the Get a Shot. Give a Shot. program to help provide lifesaving vaccines to children around the world. Beginning Sep. 1 until Dec. 31, 2022, for every flu shot or other routine immunization administered, Walgreens will make a donation to the UN Foundation’s [email protected] campaign, up to $2.6 million. To date, the Get a Shot. Give a Shot. program has helped provide more than 80 million lifesaving vaccines to children around the world and has committed to reaching 100 million immunizations by 2024.

“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and those around us from flu and other vaccine-preventable illnesses,” said Dr. Anita Patel, PharmD, VP, pharmacy services development, Walgreens. “To help save families a trip, Walgreens pharmacists are co-administering flu shots and other recommended vaccines during a single visit.”

Walgreens operates more than 9,000 retail locations across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.