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October 13, 2021 03:29pm
By Jill Murphy, Associate Editor
Walgreens has officially launched their Flu Index for the 2019-2020 influenza season. The index provides different categories to view, including the Most Recent Flu Index, Search by DMA Market, Top 10 States, and 2018-2019 Flu Index Time Lapse. The index is updated each week to accurately depict each market area and territory of flu activity in the country.
Walgreens has officially launched theirFlu Indexfor the 2019-2020 influenza season. The index provides different categories to view, including the Most Recent Flu Index, Search by DMA Market, Top 10 States, and 2018-2019 Flu Index Time Lapse. The index is updated each week to accurately depict each market area and territory of flu activity in the country.1
“We developed the Walgreens Flu Index six flu seasons ago because we recognized that there was a great opportunity to help customers, local media and health officials stay informed about flu activity in their communities by leveraging data from across our thousands of stores nationwide,” said Sam Nass, PharmD, MBS and Walgreens Immunizations Manager in an email toPharmacy Times. “As far as the methodology is concerned, the Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide.”
In addition to Walgreens, the CDC has provided their own influenza resources that are open to the public, such as a Weekly U.S. Map and FluView Interactive. The Weekly U.S. Map which summarizes influenza activity based on reports by state and territorial epidemiologists. Meanwhile, the FluView Interactive page provides hospitalization data, pediatric mortality, and other information on a national, regional, and state level.2
Even with constant surveillance each flu season, many people are still hesitant about getting a flu shot. “An important question that many people ask pharmacists each season is if the flu vaccine can give someone the flu. The answer to that question is no, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu,” Nass said in an email withPharmacy Times. “The vaccine is manufactured using what’s known as a “dead” or inactive virus, so it cannot cause anyone to get influenza as a result of receiving the vaccine.”