Get a Shot. Give a Shot.®

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Get a Shot. Give a Shot.®

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Getting the annual flu shot at your neighborhood Walgreens is a convenient way to take care of yourself — and a great way to do something good for a child who lives a world away. Because for every shot a Walgreens pharmacist or Healthcare Clinic provider administers from now through August 31, 2016, Walgreens will make a donation to the U.N. Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign — to help provide lifesaving immunizations to children in developing nations who desperately need them.

This collaboration between Walgreens and the U.N. Foundation, called Get a Shot. Give a Shot.®, has had a dramatic impact on 7 million children over the last two years. Thanks to Walgreens customers, millions of children in developing countries are now protected from life-threatening diseases like polio and measles.

“Here in the U.S., we are very fortunate to have easy, convenient access to vaccines and other health care services,” says Walgreens spokesman Jim Cohn. “But in these other countries, just reaching the age of 5 can be a significant health milestone.”

The goal of the U.N. Foundation/Walgreens collaboration, Cohn says, “is to increase the number of children who live beyond that age — by improving overall immunization rates for people of all ages, both in the U.S. and around the world.” The vaccinations provided through Get a Shot. Give a Shot. give children in developing countries a shot at a healthy life - a chance to get an education, among other things, despite the ongoing challenges of their healthcare system.

Cohn saw the impact of the Get a Shot. Give a Shot. campaign up close during a 2014 trip to Tanzania. You can read his moving observations from that trip on the Walgreens blog.

“When you’re there, you see mothers — many of them very young — who will walk 10–15 miles, often times on winding, hilly roads to get their children a polio or measles vaccine,” he says.

In the U.S., widespread availability of vaccines has largely eradicated most of these life-threatening diseases. But in many countries, Cohn notes, polio, measles and other potentially epidemic viruses remain a serious threat.

“This program really demonstrates the important role our customers can play, because a simple flu shot — or any other immunization Walgreens offers — can help make a difference in other parts of the world.”

Why get immunized?

For many Americans, avoiding the hassle of the flu — days off work, cancelled vacations, ruined holidays — is incentive enough to get a flu shot. But for older people, children and those with acute or chronic illnesses, getting a flu vaccine each season can be critical.

Walgreens has made getting the annual flu shot remarkably easy. There’s no need for an appointment and vaccines are offered during all pharmacy and clinic hours. If you’re not sure which vaccine you need, Walgreens pharmacists are there to help.

And Get a Shot. Give a Shot. applies for any Walgreens vaccination. In most states, that includes 17 CDC-approved vaccines for everything from hepatitis to shingles. Planning a trip abroad? More than 5,000 Walgreens pharmacies offer travel inoculations and documentation.

Doing good here at home

In addition to helping the U.N. Foundation bring vaccines to more people across the globe, Walgreens is also expanding access to immunizations for people in need here in the U.S.

“We are in the fifth year of a program we developed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through which we’ve distributed $40 million worth of flu vouchers to uninsured and underinsured individuals across the country,” Cohn says.

Other Walgreens community initiatives include offering free HIV testing in more than 150 cities prior to National HIV Testing Day, June 27, 2015; participating in the “100,000 Opportunities Initiative” to help young people find meaningful well-paying jobs; and sponsoring “Red Nose Day” to raise money for nonprofits that help lift children out of poverty in the U.S. and abroad.

Learn more about Get a Shot. Give a Shot. at Walgreens.com/getashot — or just go to Walgreens and get your shot! Doing so can literally help save a child’s life.

Once you get your flu shot, help spread the word — post a selfie on social media showing your red Walgreens bandage using the hashtag #GIVEaSHOT. On Fridays through mid-November, Walgreens will repost the best images in a share-back video on Facebook and Twitter.