Walgreens Reinstates Routine Immunization Services With COVID-19 Safety Measures

June 22, 2020

Keeping ahead of flu season and preventing illness through immunizations is critical to reducing an already-strained health care system.

Walgreens has announced that it has reinstated its routine immunization services with pandemic-prompted safety measures after postponing all non-urgent, routine immunizations because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The company’s announcement followed the CDC’s updates on its guidelines, amended to emphasize that “routine vaccination is an essential care service for children, adolescents, and adults…that should not be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Pharmacy team members and patients can expect the following precautions:

  • All pharmacy team members are required to wear disposable face masks at all times, including while administering immunizations, and follow proper glove and handwashing procedures that are standard for vaccination administration.
  • As an additional safety measure, all pharmacy team members administering immunizations are receiving plastic face shields to be used during immunizations for eye protection.
  • Patients entering a pharmacy are encouraged to wear a face covering to protect others, and those who do not have one will be provided a facemask prior to receiving immunizations.
  • At least 6 feet of distance is maintained between pharmacy waiting area chairs where patients may choose to complete paperwork and wait for their immunization or appointment.

In a pandemic environment, protecting at-risk populations to minimize the burden of respiratory illnesses on the health care system in the United States should be a key priority. When the country’s stay-at-home orders were at their peak, Walgreens noted that its pharmacy team continued to provide essential immunizations where benefit outweighed risk. The company asserts that the CDC recommendations and guidelines should continue to be followed.

“Immunizations are critical to ensuring the health of our communities from vaccine-preventable illness and reducing the strain on our healthcare system, which is even more important during the pandemic,” said Kevin Ban, MD, chief medical officer, Walgreens. “As highly accessible providers of care in communities across the country, Walgreens pharmacists are available to safely administer immunizations to help patients protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Reference:

  1. Walgreens Resumes Immunization Services With New Safety Measures. News Release. Walgreens; June 22, 2020. Accessed June 22, 2020. https://news.walgreens.com/press-releases/general-news/walgreens-resumes-immunization-services-with-new-safety-measures.htm.