DEERFIELD, Ill., Jun 22, 2012 -- With epidemic levels of whooping cough reported in the state of Kansas and creating the need for more immunizations resources, Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG) is offering immunizations that provide protection against the highly-contagious respiratory infection (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) at all of its 67 locations in Kansas and 195 drugstores in Missouri. Immunizations are available everyday with no appointment necessary at pharmacies and Take Care Health clinics.
As of June 11, 56 confirmed cases have been reported to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). In 2011, just 52 confirmed cases were reported for the entire year. During 2011 and 2012, KDHE and local health departments have investigated eight outbreaks, including the ongoing outbreak in Johnson County.
Walgreens pharmacists in Kansas can administer the vaccine to protect against whooping cough to patients age 18 and older. Pharmacies in Missouri can administer the vaccine to patients age 7 and older. Nurse practitioners at Take Care Health clinics may administer the vaccine to patients 10 years and older.
"We share in the recommendations of health officials that one of the best things people can do to help keep themselves and their community healthy is to get vaccinated," said Frank Koen, Walgreens market pharmacy director. "As some of the most trusted health care professionals in communities across our state, this is an excellent opportunity for our pharmacists to help educate residents about the importance of vaccinations and how we can all work together to help slow the spread of disease to some of the most vulnerable--our children. It is extremely important for those who care for or are in contact with children also be immunized to help prevent the spread of disease."
For the latest pertussis immunization recommendations for children and adults, as well as vaccine information, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website at http://www.kdheks.gov/ .
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens ( www.walgreens.com ) vision is to become America's first choice for health and daily living. 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. The company operates 7,889 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 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.