Walgreens Offers Pneumonia Vaccination With Flu Shot Program

    DEERFIELD, Ill., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ - Walgreens (NYSE:   WAG), which has
 conducted a national flu shot program at its stores longer than any other
 drugstore chain, is going one step further this year by offering both flu and
 pneumonia shots for those hoping to avoid the illnesses that flu season
 brings.
     With help from qualified healthcare professionals, Walgreens will offer a
 flu shot program at more than 2,400 individual stores nationwide (except
 Louisiana and New Mexico) on one day from Oct. 5 through Nov. 6.  Selected
 locations also will offer pneumonia shots during the same period.  Those
 interested in receiving a vaccination should call toll-free 1-800-FLU-9950 for
 the program's date and time at the nearest Walgreens.  No appointment is
 necessary.
     "Pneumonia causes 40,000 deaths each year in the United States, more than
 any other vaccine-preventable bacterial disease," said Don Johnson, Walgreens
 Health Services manager.  "Men and women age 65 and over should consider
 getting a pneumonia vaccination this year.  And all adults should consider
 having a flu shot.  Walgreens makes it easy and convenient by offering both."
     Each pneumonia shot is $25, while the flu shot will cost between $8 and
 $10.  Both vaccines are available at no charge for Medicare Part B patients if
 they're not members of an HMO and they present their Medicare card when they
 receive the shot.  Anyone receiving a flu and/or pneumonia shot also will get
 a coupon book with $25 in savings at Walgreens.
     "We've had great success each of the last four years we've offered this
 program, the largest of any retailer," said Johnson.  "The flu shot will last
 six months and take two weeks to become effective.  Because the flu virus
 usually is slightly different each year, flu shots are effective only one
 season.  If you received a flu vaccine last year, you'll need another shot
 this year.  The elderly and those with chronic diseases are especially advised
 to receive a vaccination."
     The flu vaccination offered through Walgreens will immunize against three
 flu strains:  A Sydney, B Harbin and A Beijing.  Among those who shouldn't be
 vaccinated in Walgreens program are children, pregnant women, people allergic
 to eggs or chicken, people who've received another vaccination in the past two
 weeks and people with active illnesses.
     Walgreen Co. is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 1998
 sales of $15.3 billion.  The company operates 2,549 stores in 35 states and
 Puerto Rico.
 
 

SOURCE Walgreens

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