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Efforts Aimed At Addressing Health Disparities In Flu Vaccination

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December 19, 2010 - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced that Walgreens has agreed to donate $10 million in vouchers for free flu shots to 350,000 eligible uninsured and underserved people in 15 markets across the country.

Secretary Sebelius made the announcement earlier today in a conference call with Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Dan Jernigan, and Walgreens President of Pharmacy Services, Kermit Crawford.

The announcement is part of a larger demonstration project being undertaken by HHS and its partners to address continuing health disparities in flu vaccination rates. 

“Thanks to the new health care law, many people can get their flu vaccination without paying a co-pay or deductible, but there are still more Americans who cannot afford to get vaccinated for the flu,” said Secretary Sebelius.

 

“With this generous donation, Walgreens is helping individuals and families who otherwise might be unprotected from the flu this season. We are also troubled by recent data showing disparities among people when it comes to flu vaccination. This donation will help us remove barriers that have prevented some from getting vaccinated.” 

Vouchers are good for one flu shot at any Walgreens pharmacy, Duane Reade pharmacy in New York or Take Care Clinic, and will be available beginning early next week in the following metropolitan areas: Atlanta, GA, Bronx, NY, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Kansas City, MO, Newark, NJ, Oakland, CA and Philadelphia, PA. 

Vouchers will also soon be distributed and available through local health agencies in: Fort Lauderdale, FL, Miami-Dade County, FL, Palm Beach, FL, Seattle, WA, Waco, TX, Washington, D.C., Northern New Hampshire, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, NY. 

Local public health officials and their community partners in the identified cities, in conjunction with the HHS regional health administrators, will distribute the vouchers through a variety of community outreach efforts. Vouchers will be available on a first come, first served basis while supplies last.  State, age and other restrictions may apply.

 
   

Background on the HHS Demonstration Project to Reduce Health Disparities in Flu Vaccinations. This announcement is part of a larger HHS demonstration project with local, state, public and private partners to expand efforts to reduce health disparities in flu vaccination.   

Protecting All from Flu, HHS Demonstration Project to Expand Efforts to Reduce Health Disparities in Flu Vaccination targets 15 communities in a coordinated effort to improve influenza vaccination rates among underserved populations. The communities were selected based on existing vaccination disparities as well as the availability of HHS infrastructure and resources in these areas.

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