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The city of Chicago, Illinois, is best known for its mouthwatering dishes, jazz music, architecture, museums, and loyal sports fans. However, the windy city is also home to many notable companies, Walgreens the second-largest pharmacy chain store in the United States. While many may not be familiar with the specific history of the company, many people, approximately 78 percent of U.S. citizens, live within five miles of a Walgreen pharmacy.
Walgreens began in 1901 as a small food store on the corner of Bowen and Cottage Grove Avenues in Chicago, owned and managed by its founder Charles R. Walgreen. Scaled for growth, Walgreen had 20 stores in its chain by 1919 and witnessed tremendous success in the 1920s, an era of alcohol prohibition as the pharmaceutical stores sold prescription whisky. In 1922, the drugstore chain popularized malted milk powder, referred to as malted milkshakes. One hundred twenty years after it first opened its doors, Walgreens still has its headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois.
Walgreen operates over 9,000 drugstores in the 50 States in the U.S, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Growing from a one-stop-shop to a pharmaceutical giant, Walgreen has evolved with years of technology and is now able to sell prescription and non-prescription drugs to its customers through an e-commerce platform, which allows customers to refill drug prescriptions through scan technology, help them receive alert notifications when a drug refill is due and choose in-store pick-up, drive-thru or delivery to their home.
As a global pharmacy-led healthcare organization, Walgreen is at the forefront of ensuring the safety of its community, especially when it was needed most during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company provided a steady supply of medicine, personal protective equipment, and access to testing. As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, the company is again playing a pivotal role in its distribution, working closely with its government, corporate, and healthcare partners.
The company recently announced its “This Is Our Shot” campaign with singer-songwriter John Legend to create awareness about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine. The campaign aims to encourage and remind U.S. citizens that vaccination is the nation’s opportunity to end the health crisis and get back to post-COVID normalcy.
On a TV special aired on NBC, the pharmaceutical company also presented a star-studded TV special titled “Roll Up Your Sleeves.” On the show, celebrities such as President Joe Biden, The Obamas, Former President George Bush, Jennifer Lopez, Rusell Wilson, and Ciara, among many others, discussed the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine. As the famous faces shared their vaccination stories, others debunked rumors and myths about the vaccine while encouraging the general populace to take action in the right step.
CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Roz Brewer, also walked viewers through the vaccination process at one of Walgreens’ vaccination clinics at Chicago’s Zoe Life Ministries. In a solo performance, Jennifer Hudson also helped calmed the nerves of one vaccine recipient, playing her part in the process.
As the vaccine becomes globally available, Walgreen hopes to play its part in its distribution through its 9,000 outlets. To learn more about Walgreen or schedule a vaccination, visit its official website.