The Walgreen Co.‘s “Get a Shot. Give a Shot.” campaign stretches across the great divide separating the United States from developing countries by encouraging Americans to receive vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Every vaccine delivered by Walgreens in the U.S. results in a child receiving one in Chad or Tanzania in Africa, or East Timor in Southeast Asia.
Walgreens and the United Nations Foundation have collaborated for the past four years on the project,which guarantees that for every flu shot or other immunization administered at Walgreens pharmacies, Healthcare Clinics or Duane Reade pharmacies, Walgreens will donate the value of a life-saving vaccine through the foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.
Martha Rebour, director of Shot@Life, told Global Atlanta that the campaign was initiated five years ago by the Gates Foundation, which saw the possibility of Americans rallying behind a low cost program with such “high impact” benefits.
Since its inception in 2013, the campaign has helped to provide more than 15 million polio and measles vaccines in the three countries that were recommended by the UN Foundation, which builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems.
The foundation selected Chad, Tanzania and East Timor on the recommendation of UNICEF and the World Health Organization in an effort to get children in those countries to reach 5 years old. Vaccines have just about eliminated polio across the world and measles are down by 75 percent and are expected “to be eliminated in our lifetime,” according to Ms. Rebour.
Created in 1998 by Atlanta entrepreneur Ted Turner, the foundation now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government and individual donors. The initiative has motivated 1,300 volunteers in the U.S. to spread the word.
With almost 49 million Americans projected to be traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, Walgreens is stepping up its promise to provide two vaccines for every American that is immunized from Friday, Nov. 25 through Tuesday, Nov. 29.
“The flu shot is the best protection you can get against influenza. The one thing we know about flu season is that it’s always unpredictable. We never know when it may peak or how severe it may be that’s why each year the CDC recommends a flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months,” said Emily Hartwig, a Walgreens spokesperson. But Walgreens offers far more than just flu shots.
At Walgreens’ 203 locations in Georgia a wide range of 17 CDC-recommended vaccines are available, subject to availability, including those to protect against influenza, shingles, pneumonia, pertussis (whooping cough), meningitis, hepatitis and other diseases.
According to Walgreens, the company is to donate 22 cents to the foundation for every immunization administered in the U.S. up to a maximum donation of $2 million. During the “Giving Tuesday” — national philanthropy program — the company will be donating 44 cents for each recipient of an immunization at its facilities in the U.S.