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Safeway boosts stock buyback

BY Allison Cerra

PLEASANTON, Calif. — The board of directors at Safeway announced that it has increased the authorized level of the company’s stock repurchase program by $1 billion.

With this boost, the program now totals $8 billion.

Through the end of the third quarter 2011, Safeway had repurchased about $6.1 billion of its stock and had approximately $900 million remaining under its stock repurchase program, the retailer noted.

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Walgreens and HHS dispense more than $10 million in flu shots to uninsured

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday announced it is offering more than $10 million worth of free flu shot vouchers to Americans without health insurance coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services is assisting in the distribution of the vouchers in markets across the country.

“With the help and support of HHS, we’ve been able to provide free access to flu vaccine to people in need and improve immunization rates in underserved communities,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions. “Together, and with the ongoing dedication of our pharmacists, Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners and other immunizations-trained clinicians, we’re making an impact and helping to keep people healthy throughout the flu season.”

“Last season, more than 40% of Americans got their flu shots but there are still millions of people who are without adequate insurance and unable to afford one," HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "This generous donation is helping many people who otherwise might not be protected from influenza. HHS looks forward to working with local community pharmacies as we continue to reduce health disparities and make it possible for more individuals and families to get their annual flu vaccine.”

Local public health officials, in conjunction with HHS regional health administrators, already have begun distributing the vouchers through a variety of community outreach efforts, including through many local health agencies and select community partner organizations. More than 300,000 vouchers are available to eligible U.S. residents.

Vouchers are good for one flu shot at any Walgreens pharmacy (excluding Puerto Rico), Duane Reade pharmacy in New York or Take Care Clinic, and are subject to the terms and conditions on the voucher.


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Maxell launches rechargeable lithium ion battery

BY Allison Cerra

WOODLAND PARK, N.J. — Maxell has introduced a rechargeable lithium ion battery designed to operate in low temperatures, the company said.

With a discharge temperature range of -30 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius and 2300mAh capacity, the cell can operate in various products across various markets, including data capture, mobile computing, portable printing, communications, e-bikes, and gardening tools, Maxell said.

The new introduction follows the July launch of Maxell’s zero-mercury, zero-lead silver oxide cell.

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