|[February 11, 2014]
Walgreens Collaborates with National Minority AIDS Council to Encourage African Americans with HIV to Get Recommended Vaccinations
DEERFIELD, Ill. --(Business Wire)--
In collaboration with the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), Walgreens
(NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) is furthering its commitment to improve HIV
treatment outcomes for African Americans living with HIV by deepening
pharmacists' training and expanding access to the pneumococcal
vaccination specifically indicated for persons living with HIV as
incidents of flu and pneumonia rise.
Pneumococcal disease can spread from a sneeze or cough and can cause
significant or life threatening infection for those with chronic
illnesses. People living with HIV are at a higher risk of pneumococcal
disease - 35 times greater than someone unaffected by HIV at a similar
age.1 African Americans are at an even greater risk as nearly
half of all new HIV infections2 are within the population and
African Americans have the lowest seasonal vaccination rate at 40 percent3.
Pneumococcal vaccinations specifically indicated for persons living with
HIV are available at all Walgreens HIV-specialized pharmacies to help
meet preventive care needs of African Americans living with HIV.
Walgreens specially trained pharmacists are working closely with
physicians to understand patient needs and deliver individualized,
comprehensive care including vaccine administration.
"We understand that African Americans are disproportionately affected by
HIV and can be heavily impacted during the cold and flu season when
pneumonia may be more prevalent," said Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens
director f specialty products and services, virology. "In addition to
stocking our HIV-specialized pharmacies with the CDC-recommended
vaccine, we have provided additional pharmacist training so that each of
our more than 2,000 HIV-specialized pharmacists is prepared to provide
both seasonal and general wellness consultations and administer this
vitally important vaccination."
With HIV-specialized pharmacies accessible to nearly 90 percent of the
U.S. HIV population, Walgreens is uniquely positioned to help decrease
vaccine preventable diseases in HIV-positive populations that were
previously difficult-to-reach and often live in medically underserved
Walgreens works closely with NMAC and other community organizations and
advocacy groups with one goal in mind - be a part of the solution to end
"It is especially critical that people living with HIV remain vigilant
not only about managing the virus, but also protecting their overall
health," said Dr. Kim Johnson, NMAC director of community advancement
and leadership strategies. "With cold, flu and pneumonia rampant, the
importance of protecting already compromised immune systems is even more
pronounced. This means getting vaccinated, eating well, and regularly
washing your hands. NMAC is pleased to partner with Walgreens to
encourage minority communities to safeguard their health, by promoting
and expanding access to critical preventive health services."
Pneumococcal vaccinations are fully covered through Medicare Part B and
select pharmacy and medical plans.
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2013 sales of $72
billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com)
vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone
in America, and beyond. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 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 8,200 drugstores in all 50
states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
Islands. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the
largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness
centers, provider practices, and in-store convenient care clinics, with
more than 750 locations throughout the country.
1 Heffernan RT, Barrett NL, Gallagher KM, Hadler JL, Harrison
LH, Reingold AL, Khoshnood K, Holford TR, Schuchat A. Declining
incidence of invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae infections among persons
with AIDS in an era of highly active antiretroviral therapy, 1995-2000.
J Infect Dis. 2005 Jun;191(12):2038-45
2 National Minority AIDS Council 2010 research; 46 percent
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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