Walgreens Flu Index shows 10 times higher year-over-year flu activity

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US braces for severe flu season as flu activity doubles week over week

DEERFIELD, Ill., October 24, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Walgreens launched the 2022-2023 Walgreens Flu Index to help communities track flu activity in their area and serve as an important reminder to protect themselves with an annual vaccine against influenza. Returning for its ninth season, the Walgreens Flu Index shows that overall influenza activity to date is more than 10 times higher nationally compared to the 2021-2022 flu season and has more than doubled in the past two weeks.

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Walgreens launched the 2022-2023 Walgreens Flu Index to help communities track flu activity in their area and serve as an important reminder to protect themselves with an annual flu shot. (Photo: BusinessWire)

“As we move into the fall and winter seasons, our data shows significantly higher influenza activity earlier this year compared to other influenza seasons and it is increasing in the United States, especially in cities. south,” said Anita Patel, PharmD, vice president, pharmaceutical services development, Walgreens. “As we resume our pre-pandemic activities and spend more time indoors without masks or social distancing, we are more vulnerable to respiratory infections. To help reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses this season, the best thing you you can do is schedule your flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster at Walgreens in one convenient stop.”

During the week of October 10, influenza activity was highest in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Several major cities, including New Orleans, Houston and Mobile, Alabama, have been named the top ten areas with the most widespread flu activity so far this flu season.

A national survey has shown that many are unsure or not planning to get a flu shot this flu season.1 With rising rates of influenza, old and new variants of COVID-19 circulating, and other respiratory illnesses, hospitalizations are expected to increase and could lead to strain on the healthcare system.2 To prevent the flu and its potentially serious complications, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot by the end of October and before the flu starts to spread. spread during the holidays.3 If individuals cannot get vaccinated until later, the CDC recommends getting the flu shot because flu activity most often peaks in February and can continue into May. It takes about two weeks after the vaccine for the antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

Walgreens makes it easy for the whole family to stay protected against the flu, with pharmacy team members specially trained to administer flu shots to adults and children ages 3 and up. Appointments are strongly encouraged for the best experience. To schedule an appointment for a flu shot, updated COVID-19 reminder, or other routine vaccinations at Walgreens, please visit Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or download the Walgreens app.

Top 10 DMAs with the highest influenza activity

1. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX

2. Columbus-Tupelo-West Point-Houston, Miss.

3. Corpus Christi, TX

4. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas

5. New Orleans, La.

6. Columbus, Georgia (Opelika, Alabama)

7. Houston, Texas

8. Lafayette, La.

9. Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola (Ft. Walton Beach), Florida.

10. Montgomery-Selma, Alabama.

Top 10 states with the highest flu activity

1. Louisiana

2. Mississippi

3.Texas

4.Alabama

5. Georgia

6. Tennessee

7. Arkansas

8. South Carolina

9. Puerto Rico

10. North Carolina

About Walgreens Flu Index®

The Walgreens Flu Index® is an interactive online tool that ranks the top markets and states for influenza activity in the United States, including Puerto Rico, as well as the top markets and states with the highest increases in influenza activity from one week to the next. . Users can search by market or state to see where their geographic area ranks for influenza activity in a given week, as well as how current influenza activity compares to last season. With the Walgreens Flu Index® time-lapse feature, users can see how current flu activity compares to last season’s activity. On a weekly basis, Walgreens tracks the progress of antiviral medications used to treat influenza at thousands of Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide to create the Walgreens Flu Index®. The index is not intended to illustrate the severity of influenza, but rather, based on this methodology, to show which populations experience the highest incidence of influenza in the United States and Puerto Rico each week. .

Frequency of Flu Index®

The Walgreens Flu Index® is updated weekly every Tuesday and is available via an interactive online map, linked here.

Behind the methodology

Walgreens Flu Index ® data is analyzed at the state and geographic market level to measure the absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on an average per store basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens operates. less than 10 outlets. Low-high rankings are designated based on a normal flu season, defined by an average of the last five national flu seasons. For example, red regions on the Walgreens Flu Index® map indicate a well above normal flu season, while green regions indicate a well below normal flu season.

About Walgreens

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is part of the U.S. segment of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail leader serving millions of customers and patients every day, with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities. As America’s most beloved pharmacy, health and beauty company, Walgreens’ goal is to champion the health and well-being of every community in America. Operating nearly 9,000 outlets across America, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, Walgreens is proud to be a neighborhood health destination serving approximately 9 million customers every day. Walgreens pharmacists play a vital role in the American healthcare system by providing a wide range of pharmaceutical and healthcare services. To best meet the needs of customers and patients, Walgreens offers a true omnichannel experience, with fully integrated physical and digital platforms supported by the latest technologies to deliver high-quality products and services to local communities nationwide.

1 “National Survey 2022: Attitudes toward influenza and pneumococcal disease, and the impacts of COVID-19.

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. From August 11 to August 15, 2022. https://www.nfid.org/about-nfid/newsroom/news-conferences/2022-nfid-influenza-pneumococcal-disease-news-conference/2022-national-survey-attitudes- about -influenza-and-pneumococcal-and-impacts-of-covid-19/

2 “Experts warn a COVID flu ‘twindemia’ could hit hospitals hard this year.” Fierce health care. October 18, 2022. https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/providers/experts-warn-covid-flu-twindemic-might-hit-hospitals-hard-year

3 “Frequently asked questions about influenza (flu): 2022-2023 season.” Centers for Control and Prevention of Disasters. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2022-2023.htm

See the source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221024005266/en/

contacts

Walgreens Media Relations
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