June 19, 2008
Take Care Health Systems Offers Shingles Vaccine Nationwide
Take Care Health Systems, one of the largest managers of convenient care clinics and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG), is now administering the shingles vaccine at all 177 Take Care Health Clinics located at Walgreens drugstores in 19 markets throughout 14 states. By administering the shingles vaccine in a convenient setting, Take Care Health Providers further extend access to high-quality, affordable and convenient health care to patients nationwide.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. Once a person has had chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in certain nerves of their system. If the virus becomes active again, usually later in life, it causes a painful rash. The first signs of shingles are often itching, tingling and burning of the skin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least one million people in the United States get shingles every year. Shingles is far more common in adults over the age of 50 than in younger people, and age, stress and problems with the immune system may increase the chance of developing shingles.
"Roughly 43 million adults are at risk for the disease. For adults over 60 years old, the vaccine can reduce their chance of getting shingles by half," said Sandra Ryan, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer for Take Care Health Systems. "By expanding access to the vaccine, we hope to give more patients the opportunity to get important preventive care."
In line with CDC recommendations, Take Care Health Clinics will administer the shingles vaccine to adults 60 years of age or older. It is given as a single dose by injection under the skin. If a patient gets the virus despite being vaccinated, it may help reduce pain and lower the risk of chronic pain that can follow. The vaccine cannot be used to treat shingles once a person has it, though it may help to prevent further outbreaks. The vaccine may not protect everyone who receives it.
The shingles vaccine is available at Take Care Health Clinics nationwide. The clinics do not require appointments and are open seven days a week, with extended evening and weekend hours.
The shingles vaccine may be covered by a patient's pharmacy benefit. Coverage varies depending on a patient's individual plan. For more information, patients should contact their pharmacy benefit plan administrator. The cost of the vaccination is $219.99 for uninsured patients or cash payers.
Take Care Health Systems is part of Walgreens new Health and Wellness division, alongside Walgreens newly acquired I-trax/CHD Meridian Healthcare and Whole Health Management, providers of worksite health centers that operate under the name Take Care Employer Solutions. Including Take Care Health Clinics, the Walgreens Health and Wellness division manages approximately 550 worksite health and wellness centers and retail health clinics within the division.
Take Care Health Systems currently manages 177 clinics in 19 markets throughout 14 states, including Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, Tenn., Orlando, Fla., Peoria, Ill., Pittsburgh, Rockford, Ill., St. Louis, Tampa, Fla., Tucson, Ariz. and West Palm Beach, Fla.
About Take Care Health Systems(SM)
Take Care Health Systems (www.takecarehealth.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens, is part of the Health and Wellness division, which includes Take Care Consumer Solutions, managers of convenient care clinics located at Walgreens drugstores nationwide, and Take Care Employer Solutions, managers of worksite-based health and wellness services. The company combines best practices in health care and the expertise and personal care of providers to deliver access to high-quality, affordable and convenient health care to all individuals. The Take Care Consumer Solutions group currently manages 177 Take Care Health Clinics in 19 markets throughout 14 states, with plans to have approximately 400 clinics in operation by the end of 2008. Patient care at each of the Take Care Health Clinics is provided by Take Care Health Services, a independently owned state professional corporation established in each market. Take Care Employer Solutions manages primary care, health and wellness and occupational health centers at 364 employer campuses across more than 170 clients in 44 states, including D.C. and Guam, with approximately 400 sites projected by the end of 2008.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2007 sales of $53.8 billion. The company operates 6,252 drugstores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Walgreens provides the most convenient access to consumer goods and cost-effective health care services in America through its retail drugstores, Walgreens Health Services division and Walgreens Health and Wellness division. Walgreens Health Services assists pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc., Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy LLC and SeniorMed LLC (a pharmacy provider to long-term care facilities). Walgreens Health and Wellness division includes Take Care Health Systems, which is comprised of: Take Care Consumer Solutions, managers of 177 convenient care clinics at Walgreens drugstores, and Take Care Employer Solutions, managers of worksite-based health and wellness services at more than 364 employer campuses.