DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday announced it is donating the value of 3 million vaccines for children in developing countries upon successful completion of its immunizations campaign developed in partnership with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.
Walgreens pledged to donate the value of one vaccine through Shot@Life for each immunization the company administered from Sept. 4 through Oct. 14, with a goal to reach three million vaccines to benefit children in developing countries by protecting them against such diseases as measles and polio.
“We’re proud to have been a part of the Shot@Life campaign with the UN Foundation, and I want to thank our customers who came in for flu shots and vaccines,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “This program is a great example of how large organizations and individuals can come together to improve the delivery of preventive care. At Walgreens, we’re very pleased to help these vaccines get to the children who need them.”
“By expanding access to vaccines, we have the ability to save a child’s life every 20 seconds from a preventable life-threatening disease, like measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio,” said Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. “Working in partnership with Walgreens, we raised awareness among its loyal customers of the importance of vaccines for the health of children in developing countries, and together with our United Nations partners we have given three million children around the world an opportunity at a healthy life.”
Shot@Life statistics show 1-in-5 children worldwide lack access to life-saving immunizations, and a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease.
In the United States, Walgreens is in its fourth year of a flu shot voucher program developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through which one million vouchers have now been distributed. This season, Walgreens distributed more than 400,000 flu shot vouchers to Americans without health insurance or coverage for a flu shot, providing free access to individuals and families in need. HHS assisted in the voucher program effort in markets across the country.
“Since this innovative partnership began in 2010, hundreds of thousands of uninsured men, women and children have accessed vouchers and received free flu shots,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “In the face of persistent disparities in influenza vaccination coverage — especially among adults — this initiative is a promising example of how we are working with partners to expand access to important preventive services for our most vulnerable and underserved communities.”